Americas

Churches Begin Cleanup after Ike

Some congregations worry that storm fatigue could cause exodus.

For one church in Seabrook, Texas — just north of Galveston, on the bay — the damage from Hurricane Ike is a blessing in disguise.

Tony McCollum, pastor of the 900-member Seabrook United Methodist Church, said the September 13 hurricane's damage will benefit the church, at least in one way. The church will use the insurance money to get a head start on a long-planned new sanctuary. McCollum hopes the insurance money will cover the $3 million first phase of the project. The church's current buildings — the highest of which was flooded with three feet of water — will all be torn down.

"We've been working on this move for 12 years," said McCollum. "Now we're going to be able to let go and say, you know what, at this point we have no option."

This Sunday, the congregation had an outdoor worship service at the site of the new building. McCollum is not sure what the congregation will do until the new building is built, but is considering a modular building, sharing space ...

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