Local church holds Easter service in front of destroyed chapel

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Members of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church came together to reflect on the past six months.

Hurricane Michael destroyed Lynn Haven United Methodist Church, but for Easter, churchgoers came back to the site of destruction to worship.

Craig Carter, Lead Pastor at Lynn Haven United Methodist Church, said, "We worshiped here for seven weeks after the storm just meeting in the parking lot, starting four days after the storm continuing for about two months and we had some really special worship times and we just felt it was really important to come back here and be together as one church family."

Their Easter service was held in the parking lot in front of the church.

"It was amazing to be able to be out here on the same site where it was subject to such devastation about six months ago but, you know, in this process we've learned that the church is more than a building," said Ted Howell, a member of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church.

The service was symbolic for members as they looked upon the wreckage.

"We think about that there is no resurrection unless there was death first so in the death and resurrection of Christ we almost see the destruction of our church as a sign of hope," said Mindy Clemons, Adult Education Coordinator at Lynn Haven United Methodist Church.

"Even in the, you know, the darkest hours where it looked like we had lost everything, you know, similar to the Friday before Easter, now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Howell.

Lunch and an Easter egg hunt immediately followed the service.

Members said in a way, the service brought everything full circle.

"It is remarkable how far we have come and I think the message that I take away from today is: We're going to make it," said Clemons.

In times of a disaster, we're reminded of what we are most thankful for this Easter.