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Tarboro church rebuilt 9 years after flood

Posted June 20, 2008

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— St. Paul AME Zion church in Tarboro was destroyed by floodwaters from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Nine years later, a team of volunteers has the sanctuary.

"This is a special day, an answer to prayers," Rev. Roger Raynor exclaimed as the new steeple was raised over his church Friday.

Over time, it appeared as though the congregation might never get their building back. Worshippers said they almost gave up hope.

Lovie Rooks, a third-generation member of St. Paul, though, said the members managed to kept the faith."We didn't want to lose our history," she said.

A group of volunteers in brightly-colored shirts restored the sanctuary in just over a week of work.

Charlie Fields' Meshach's Carpenters formed after Hurricane Floyd. They have rebuilt churches in the Gulf region destroyed by Katrina.

In June, they came to Tarboro. About 100 volunteers worked around the clock at St. Paul.

"It's a labor of love," Fields said. "The Lord just leads us to it."

Church members say the week-long restoration was nothing short of a miracle. They will hold the first service in the new building on Sunday.


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