Members of New Hope United Methodist gather for first Sunday service since fire

Local News

HUGER, S.C. (WCBD) – The congregation at New Hope United Methodist Church in Huger felt encouraged this morning after a fire burned down their church last week.

Their first service since the fire was held at the New Hope Community Life Center. Services have been held in that location since the pandemic began.

“We’re much better. We’re stronger now. We’re more fortified now and we’re more encouraged,” said Pastor Shawn Chestnut of New Hope United Methodist.

The positivity could be felt as Pastor Chestnut reassured her congregation that a plan is in place.

“It’s hard to be without our organ without our keyboards without our drums and all the things we had there, but God is going to give us more than we ever had before,” she said.

Fundraising for the rebuilding process is already underway thanks to donations from community members and other churches.

“People in our first week, ya know, have driven by the church and handed us money for donations and everything is just moving!” said Chestnut.

There’s one powerful moment Chestnut and members of the church are holding on to. The pulpit Bible, slightly charred, but mostly untouched came out of the rubble of the unrecognizable church.

Chestnut said seeing that gave her the push she needed to keep moving forward.

“We’ve been excited about that. That the bible out of all the things…you see chairs, only the metal part you don’t see any wood. Hardly the places where any of the flooring shows, but that bible made it. And I just say Lord I thank you,” said Chestnut.

If you’d like to donate to New Hope’s rebuilding fund, download the Givelify app and type in New Hope United Methodist Church Huger, SC.

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