Sprott’s Ephesus Baptist rebuilds after January tornadocomment (0)
November 15, 2012
By Anna Keller
After a tornado badly damaged Ephesus Baptist Church, Sprott, on Jan. 23, the congregation sprang into action to get its building back in order.
One of its two buildings — the one that housed both the sanctuary and the Sunday School rooms — was almost destroyed by the storm, so the church met in the adjoining fellowship hall while the other space was being rebuilt.
Though Ephesus is a small congregation, with about 25 in attendance each Sunday, it was able to pull together a wealth of resources that made it possible for them to be back in their church building within the year.
“We were fortunate to get back into our sanctuary that quickly,” said Pastor Henry Levert. “We were also fortunate that we were able to hold our services in the fellowship hall during the construction.”
“We realized during the summer that the project could be completed in the fall,” said church member Dianne Nichols. “The Nov. 4 date was picked as a target date for completion because it is so close to the date the church was founded 147 years ago on Nov. 5, 1865. It was a team effort and a labor of love for us all.”
The reconstructed building came together quickly due to an outpouring of support both from church members and from friends far and wide. After Ephesus had the foundation slab poured in place, a group from Georgia came and framed the building.
Then a group called Bethel Baptist Builders, an organization that offers assistance to local congregations with construction needs, handled the electrical wiring.
A church from Selma installed the insulation, and a former Ephesus church member who now lives in Alabaster did some interior and roofing work.
“We really had everyone rally around us in the rebuild,” Levert said. “Everyone got involved in some way or another.”
To dedicate the new building, Ephesus held a special service Nov. 4 and combined it with their annual homecoming event. It made for an especially large turnout.
“This is a new beginning for our church and a time for us to remember how blessed we’ve been,” Levert said. “After this year, we’re going to be closer to each other and better at realizing how good God is.”
As for member David Wallace, he is thankful the construction is complete so that the church can begin to work toward the next chapter in its ministry.
“Our church wasn’t in the best condition, and I guess the good Lord just saw that maybe we needed a new church, and there wasn’t any way of us being able to build a new one,” Wallace said. “Now that everything’s done, we’re looking forward to things getting somewhat back to normal.”