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Faith After the Flood: Churches Lead Divine Mission to Rebuild

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SEVEN SPRINGS — The effects of Hurricane Floyd will reach beyond the upcoming one-year anniversary, as will the efforts to help communities recover. While government is helping in those efforts, most of the work is coming from elsewhere -- some would call it divine intervention.

The trip from Pittsboro Baptist Church in Chatham County to Seven Springs in Wayne County is not a short one. The distance does not keep the congregation's volunteers from helping strangers rebuild their homes Down East.

"I'm kind of a leader for working with this kind of thing," says volunteer Bill Poindexter. "Everytime I've said, 'Let's go,' people come with me."

Kelly Stancil's home was damaged by wind and rain. She was not sure how she would ever get back on her feet, until theNorth Carolina Baptist Menappeared.

"We didn't have anywhere else to turn," Stancil says. "We've all been through a lot of stress in the past year, and it's not just us. It's people everywhere around here."

Governor Hunt dropped by Seven Springs on Wednesday to check on the progress of the recovery. He says church groups have contributed greatly to the recovery effort.

"The faith-based organizations have really been doing the work of God, I believe," Hunt says. "I'm just so proud of them, and that's one of the reasons we've come back as much as we have."

The Baptist Men alone have organized nearly 10,000 volunteers to repair more than 800 homes. The United Methodist Church and the Mennonite Church have also played key roles in the recovery.

Although the recovery has progressed well, churches and volunteers say the work is long from over. Donations are badly needed and volunteers are in demand.

One of the greatest contributions to the recovery effort is volunteering labor. Relief coordinators want people to know that no previous building experience is necessary. They say they can find work for just about anyone.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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