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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pipe Burst, Floods Church

It wasn’t as bad as Noah’s dilemma, but local pastor Jack Hollis encountered a smaller flood when he arrived Wednesday night for services at the Christian Center Church.

After Tuesday night’s freeze, a pipe had burst under the baptismal pool, and sent two inches of water into the main sanctuary. Hollis found standing water in every nook and cranny when he arrived, and water was running out all the doors onto the ground outside.

Hollis said that, while he’s not thrilled about the situation, he’s also able to put it in perspective.

“We’ve got a mess here, no doubt about it, but this is nothing compared to what those people went through in Hurricane Katrina or in other crises we’ve seen people suffer through,” Hollis said. “Shellie (wife) and I looked at each other and we said, ‘yeah, we’ve got this stuff, but this is nothing like we’ve seen in other places.’ No one was hurt here, none of our electronic equipment appears to be damaged; the instruments and things were on a raised stage so they didn’t get in the water, so we feel very blessed.”

Hollis is using paid and volunteer labor to get the church back in shape to receive the congregation.

Calloway Carpet Cleaning owner Jason Calloway came out at 7 p.m. Wednesday and worked for hire until 4 a.m., just pumping the water out. Hollis said Calloway pump out about 850 gallons.

Church Deacon Gary Gochenaur brought his work crews from Marianna Truss and Marianna Metal Roofing to help unbolt pews from the floor Thursday so the ruined carpet could be removed. Hollis said Gochenaur hasn’t asked for any compensation for that help, but Hollis said he’ll likely offer to pay a day of salaries for his deacon’s crew or show his appreciation in some way.

Hollis said he feels doubly blessed to have an alternative gathering place available until the church is once again usable.

He’s not sure how long that will take, but said his congregation will meet at the New Life Family Church building for now. It is located at 4028 Lafayette St. in Marianna, and services there had coincidentally ceased a couple of weeks ago.\

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