Local News

Princeville Church Celebrates Rebirth

Posted April 22, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Sunday, as Christians around the world celebrated the resurrection of Christ, a church in Princeville celebrated its rebirth.

Members of the Gateway to Heaven church in Princeville lifted their voices in song and prayer this Easter morning.

It was the first service they held since at the location since the church was flooded during Hurricane Floyd.

"It's been a long time, seven months, and we was thinking that maybe we would be torn down," says church member Mamie Dancy. "But, thanks be to God, he allowed us to come back today, on Easter Sunday."

Gateway to Heaven was nearly destroyed by flooding. Volunteers from other churches and Campbell University worked for seven months to repair it. Throughout this long process, church members say they never lost their faith.

"It was a challenge, but never did I doubt that we were able to get back to this church or another location, another area," says minister Alberta Petteway.

Rev. Starrlon Gregory chose Easter Sunday to hold the first service in the newly restored church. He hopes his congregation can lend strength to other flood victims down East.

"I think this church can be an example of what can happen to a lot of other churches that lost their homes as well. I think this is going to be a light to the community," Rev. Gregory said.

Others who helped rebuild the church were Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Raleigh, and the Presbyterian Church in Mebane.