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Orange County church picks up the pieces

Posted October 31, 2010 3:59 p.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2010 6:54 p.m. EDT

— One church opened its doors on Sunday to a group of worshippers trying to pick up the pieces after severe weather this week destroyed their Orange County church.

The cinder block wall of White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 4114 Carr Store Road in Cedar Grove, exploded outward during severe weather on Wednesday. Trees also fell in the church cemetery.

“It was heartbreaking,” White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Pastor William Alston said of the destruction.

Blue tarps now cover the damage to the church’s walls and roof.

“I thank God that it didn’t take a life. There was no one at the church when it came through,” Alston said.

Members of White Level Primitive Baptist welcomed members of White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist for Sunday services.

“The building doesn’t really make the church. You feel like the church is in your heart. You serve God in there,” White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist member Betty Neal said Sunday.

Neal’s family has been a member of White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist for generations. She said it was difficult to see the damage, but she knows the church will be rebuilt.

For now, the two churches will continue to worship together.

White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist is having a fundraiser on Nov. 4 to raise money for construction. The church does have insurance, but the pastor said it is still unclear how much insurance will cover.