Tennessee Church Rebuilding and Hopeful After Devastating Flood

By Calvin Cockrell
Floodwaters swamp the Pinewood Church of Christ in Nunnelly, Tenn. (Photo: Drew Grimes / The Christian Chronicle)

In August last year, historic flooding hit Middle Tennessee, irreparably damaging homes and churches in the area.

The building of the Pinewood Church of Christ in Nunnelly flooded for the second time. The congregation had rebuilt once before, when storms caused devastating floods in May 2010. As a consequence, the church was unable to insure the building again, leaving it with no coverage to pay for a new building this time.

But a year later, with support from Christians in the area and across the country, Pinewood is midway through construction at a new site about half a mile away from its previous building. The property previously belonged to a cattle company. Pinewood elder Phillip Bates told media that construction began in May and is expected to be complete early next year.

While it’s not on the hill overlooking the old church building that church member Drew Grimes told me  he’d hoped for last year, the new site is still nearby and will offer two new buildings, Bates said: one with an auditorium and classroom spaces and another that will serve as both a fellowship hall and a storm shelter.

The shelter will include a kitchen, bathrooms with showers and an electric generator.

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For now, the Pinewood church continues to meet in its pavilion, which survived the flooding and has since been enclosed with heating and cooling installed. Thanks to the hard work of a lot of Christians, including those from the Brushy Church of Christ, Bates said Pinewood has been able to meet every Sunday except the one immediately after the flooding.

In a letter written by Bates and signed by the other elders, Chris Chilton and Arch McCord, the church acknowledged all the support it has received.

pinewood
Construction at the Pinewood Church of Christ’s new location is partially complete. (Photos: Phillip Bates / The Christian Chronicle)

“We had numerous donations and contributions sent our way and are truly thankful to everyone who has provided help to us thus far,” Bates wrote. “We are truly excited about our future at Pinewood Church of Christ, and our goal is to bring more people closer to Christ and to one day accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”

This article originally appeared at The Christian Chronicle.

Calvin Cockrell is a freelance communicator, correspondent for The Christian Chronicle, and copyeditor for Religion Unplugged. He also serves as the young adults minister for the North Tuscaloosa Church of Christ in Alabama.

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