MT. JULIET, Tenn. — Midstate churches impacted by the weekend storm are trying to figure out what’s next, ahead of Easter Sunday.
News4, a sister station with WBIR in Nashville, spoke with Pastor Mike Cole from New Tribe Church in Mt. Juliet. The church was severely damaged by floodwaters. They had to throw away chairs, toys, and rugs among other items. The church has only been in its current space since October.
"What I didn't expect is the river that basically poured in through here,” said Pastor Mike Cole of New Tribe Church.
The water got so high only items on the stage were salvageable. They are in the process of drying the rooms out and cleaning the air. Part of the drywall will soon have to be ripped out.
It’s not exactly what they had in mind as they get ready for Easter.
"Not meeting together is just not an option. We started making calls right away,” Pastor Cole said.
They landed on using Charlie Daniels Park for an outdoor service. Church members consider it a blessing.
"In the midst of everything going on, just to be like there's this space available and we can still meet,” said Lydia Troyer, a church member.
Troyer has been part of the church since the beginning. It’s been tough for her to see the church in this condition.
“It's disappointing. It's hard. It's emotional,” Troyer said.
Knowing they’re part of something bigger is what keeps them going each day.
For Pastor Cole, it’s about staying in good spirits after going through so much.
“We really feel like our jobs as believers and representatives of Jesus is to continue to be those people of hope,” Pastor Cole said.
The pastor said that the flood caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. He said it’ll be at least two to three months before they’re back in the building. They’re weighing several options for where they will hold service until then.
If you would like to help with their recovery efforts, you can donate here.