Flooding from Hurricane Matthew’s torrential rains that forced people out of their homes on Busbee Street and Sherwood Drive also caused “tragic” flooding to the Trinity United Methodist Church in Conway.
“This is the highest I’ve seen,” said Jimmy Johnson, the 700-member church’s chairman of trustees.
“This room was just finished,” he said, standing in a building off to the side of the sanctuary. “Within the last two weeks, we call it a conference room. A Sunday school class meets in there.”
The newly renovated room with couches and a flatscreen TV was completely flooded.
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“I know we don’t have flood insurance,” he said. “It’s just tragic, but we’ll survive it.”
Despite the loss, some members were able to save the church’s bus that was parked in the flooded waters.
Church members Teddy Henry and Jeff Davis pulled out the bus with a rope and an orange Kubota tractor.
Davis rode in the driver’s seat while Henry drove the tractor.
“It’s running good,” Henry said. “We’re glad of that. We were just trying to find a route. It was getting too deep on the engine tractor so we just cut through the mud and luckily we were able to get it out.”
Henry said that the hurricane had blown some shingles off the roof, but he wasn’t prepared for the flood.
“No we didn’t have any idea,” he said. “We didn’t even think about this.”
Davis, who grew up in the church, said that pulling the tractor out was a lot simpler than he thought it would be.
“It pulled right out,” he said. “The good Lord was on our side. I love this church like I love my own house. My heart and soul is in here, and I’m glad to hear that bus running.”
Davis said he didn’t know where the congregation would meet if the church had sustained too much damage by next week because the pastor was out of town. The pastor could not be reached for comment.