SPRING HOPE, N.C. (WNCN) — For more than 100 years, Floods Chapel Original Free Will Baptist Church has opened its doors for service in the Spring Hope community. This Easter Sunday was no different.
Pastor Richie Hogg said the days leading up to service have been emotional.
“It certainly opened my eyes to see clearer, and I think that it’s all been confirmed that this is a loving church,” Hogg said.
Days ago on Good Friday, Hogg said he found the church with several broken windows, glass scattered throughout aisles, and even their cross pulled from the ground. He said it didn’t take long before he received an overwhelming response from church members, pastors and other organizations who wanted to help.
“I’ve had someone from Iowa call, I’ve had people in the western part of the state and even people in South Carolina reaching out and offering support, prayers and monetary donations. That was kind of shocking to me,” said Hogg.
During the Sunday service, the pastor said he thought a lot and reflected on what happened. Although the windows and walls hold significance and sentimental value, Hogg said they’re all materials that can be replaced.
He said it meant even more to see families express forgiveness and to watch the community come together.
“The first time I walked through the doors of this church it felt like home, it felt like family,” said Tanya Lamm who attended the Sunday service with her son.
She said the church has become a home for several families in the Spring Hope community.
“First and foremost, those of us who live out here, we are each other’s neighbor and we are coming to your rescue if we certainly have something to offer that can help.”
Sunday morning, Hogg hoped to share a message regarding rock-solid faith. He said seeing the community’s support and care has reassured his belief in faith and humanity.
Nash County Sherriff’s deputies said they arrested Jordan Smith of Whitakers and are unsure of a motive at this time. Smith is expected to appear in court on Monday.