Eight months later: Sylvester church repairs underway after damage from Hurricane Michael

Sylvester Church Renovations

SYLVESTER, Ga. (WALB) - Eight months after Hurricane Michael ripped the roof off of a Sylvester church, repairs are finally underway.

The foundation of First Baptist Church in Sylvester stood strong during the storm.

Construction to its 125-year-old roof began Thursday.

Despite the damage, the church remained a pillar in the community.

“When the roof came off, it come off in one piece, and it hit the offices, it hit the sanctuary roof, it hit the fellowship hall and did a lot of damage,” Tommy Jones, while keeping an eye on the workers, said. “I consider her my old lady, I take care of her.”

Tommy Jones. (Source: WALB)
Tommy Jones. (Source: WALB)

Jones said it hurt to see the amount of damage, but he thinks it was a sign.

“I think the hurricane happened and came at a time where God told us you need to fix my house,” Jones said.

Despite the damage, Pastor Donnie Duncan, calls the 125-year-old church an “architectural masterpiece.”

“We really are standing on the shoulders of those that went before us,” Duncan said.

Jones said they’ve been in need a new roof for a while, and that once it’s finished, it’ll be better than it was.

I love this church, I’ve been here all my life. Born and raised in this church, and I know every nook and cranny and it’s my job to take care of her,”
Jones said.

It’s that amount of care Duncan said keeps the church’s walls strong.

“Bottom line the church is the people,” Duncan said. "It’s not the building.”

Donnie Duncan. (Source: WALB)
Donnie Duncan. (Source: WALB)

The pastor told WALB it cost the church a couple hundred thousand dollars for the repairs.

They hope the roof will be repaired by the end of next week.

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