Catastrophic Flooding Destroys Neon Reformed’s Building
Debris litters the roadside in Eastern Kentucky after record-breaking flood waters rose suddenly overnight on July 27. The watermarks on the wall indicate that over six feet of water rushed into Neon Reformed OPC, submerging the first floor for at least eight hours. The flood swept hymnals and chairs from the sanctuary into the fellowship hall, depositing them into a water-logged pile of debris. Nothing in this store-front church was salvageable—not Pastor Jay Bennett’s library shelved in his first-floor study, nor the furniture, nor the church library. The interior was ruined. Yet, the session and church members agreed that Neon Reformed OPC is an anchor in that community and needs to be rebuilt.
Within the first month of the cleanup effort, more than fifty volunteers from OP churches and sister churches participated in mucking out, cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring the church building, as well as other buildings in Neon. By the thirty-day mark, the church building had appropriately dried out and was ready for rebuilding. After Reuben Long’s month of excellent service as “muck-out coordinator,” the Lord raised up Art Allen, a contractor and deacon from Shiloh OPC in Raleigh, North Carolina, who began serving as the site coordinator for the Neon church rebuild.
An estimated 25 percent of homes in Letcher County were flooded. Many residents, with no other options, have moved back into unsafe and unhealthy conditions. This has led OPC Disaster Response to establish the role of a mercy coordinator for Neon, one who can consider the needs in this desperate community, focus on the most vulnerable, and work to coordinate bringing them relief in the name of Christ.
To make a donation, go to give.opc.org. To volunteer, go to OPCDisasterResponse.org. To participate in replacing Pastor Bennett’s library write to: [email protected]. Please continue to pray for all involved.