Last updated: May 31. 2013 2:50PM - 302 Views
Dean Palmer



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When The Church: The Body of Christ was flooded recently, displacing the congregation and causing tens of thousands of dollars in water damage, many in the surrounding Pilot Mountain community responded with compassion.
But Pastor Floyd Dodson has provided another perspective, characterizing the incident as a divine appointment that has offered himself and his congregation an opportunity to reach out, ministering to the needs of a diverse collection of contacts that have been brought to the church in response to the flooding.
The damage was discovered on Wednesday, October 27, when Dodson, along with his wife and co-pastor Sharon Dodson and other members of the congregation arrived at the Key Street church to prepare for an evening Bible study. They arrived to find areas of standing water throughout the church, including its sanctuary, halls, offices and other rooms.
According to Sharon Dodson, further inspection revealed that heavy rains had washed loose debris and gravel to block a large drain in front of the church.
NC DOT engineer Brandon Whitaker explained that the problem arose due to pavement being lowered on the eastern side of a nearby Key Street bridge. The work, he explained, had not allowed water to properly enter into the drainage system. Water had then overwhelmed a drop inlet in front of the church, allowing the structure to flood.
The flooding, he noted, had occurred due to work done by a contractor. He added that the contractor has been asked to turn damages over to its insurance carrier.
They've agreed to do that, Whitaker said. Now, we're waiting for a response. We have made arrangements to step in if necessary. Our goal is to get the church back to normal operations as quickly as possible.
Whitaker also noted that removal has been scheduled of damaged curbing gutter that may have contributed to the flooding. The work is being done to prevent the chance of a recurrence.
They've accepted responsibility, Sharon Dodson said, and we're believing that things are going to be put back right. We're not asking for money, that's not the point. We just want the street fixed and the church made right.
Floyd Dodson says he has met with insurance adjusters and has been told that damages will probably reach $40,000-$45,000. He said the church hopes to have a settlement sometime in December.
But, he added, the church will not wait on a settlement and work was scheduled to begin on the facility yesterday morning.
Our prayer, Sharon Dodson said, is that we'll be back in before Christmas.
But, both agree, memories of that first night and the days that have followed have already made a powerful positive impact.
My first concern that night was for us to have a place to worship, Floyd Dodson remembered. God said to me, 'This is My house and I want Bible study in the house of prayer.' I thought, Who is going to sit in water?'. But I watched as we worshipped that night and God touched lives and healed people.
We decided, Sharon Dodson added, God, You're allowing this to happen for a reason and we're going on with services. And as we were having services, some of our saints were using Shop Vacs to vacuum water.
That night, Floyd Dodson remembers, some twenty-four 55-gallon barrels of water were taken from the sanctuary side of the building, much of it as worship service was continuing.
We had four visitors that night that we'd never seen before, he continued, and we had a wonderful, powerful meeting. There was a phenomenal atmosphere, a determination that could only be the Spirit of God. And that has continued.
Dodson went on to share numerous stories of meetings with representatives from DOT, insurance, media and other churches, along with those simply wishing to offer help and support. A common theme shows Dodson and other members using the opportunities to eagerly share faith and compassion. In several instances, a shared faith was discovered and those offering help often left meetings having found support and healing for their own lives.
This has provided a phenomenal opportunity to minister, Floyd Dodson said. You couldn't plan it.
And there has been an awakening in the church, he continued. A multi-racial, multi-cultural church is the greatest thing on earth. I've never seen a group bond together as this church has. We were close before but we're closer now than ever. This has made God alive to people and we've seen faith growing in their hearts.
After that night, the church installed a large tent adjacent to the building. All meetings have since been held in that tent. A large portable heater has been installed and worshippers will continue to meet in the tent until the church is again ready for services.
Services were never interrupted, Sharon Dodson noted. There has been joy in the saints. We were never down or upset and we're still not. God does things beyond us and, as Paul said in Romans 8:28, He works all things for the good of those that love Him. God has brought us this far and He's not going to leave us. This is a building of faith.
We're so excited because we're seeing joy in the midst of the storm, she continued. This is just a bump in the road. It's about doing what God wants us to do and we're still going to give Him glory and honor.
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