Westminster Church Continues Restoration Project - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Westminster Church Continues Restoration Project

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Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg took a hard hit from the Feb. 10 tornado.

The restoration process is now underway.

There is extensive roof and water damage that is now causing mold, and the second floor of the church is completely destroyed.

The first phase of the church's restoration begins with roof repairs and window replacement.

Nobles Contracting is in charge of the rebuild.

It is the beginning stages of what will take more than a year to fully restore.

"The structure is being repaired, and once is the structure is repaired and the two end walls are finished, then the roof will be decked and sealed and we think that will happen in the next couple of weeks," says Pastor Steve Ramp.

Ramp says repairs to the bell tower are also underway, with 120 window replacements needed.

"They're about 25 percent installed. We're looking forward to having all the glass back in."

Ramp is hopeful that by December, the sanctuary will be ready just in time for the church's Christmas festivities.

But it all depends on how much money can be raised as part of the church's building restoration fund.

"We're looking to raise a half-million dollars or more for phase one," says Ramp.

When the church was hit, 6,000 square feet of space was destroyed. There are plans for a new addition to the main building.

"A new entrance and fellowship hall and renovating the offices and bathrooms," says Ramp.

Through donations from across the city, state and even country, Westminster Presbyterian Church has raised more than $150,000.

The church continues to worship together every Sunday at Parkway Heights.

"We're learning that it's blessed to receive as well as to give, and we're going to need that money as we move into our rebuilding phase, so we're grateful for that," says Ramp.

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