Restoration of church damaged in tornado continuing - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Restoration of church damaged in tornado continuing

Posted: Updated:
The restoration of Westminster Presbyterian Church's stained glass windows was completed Wednesday. The restoration of Westminster Presbyterian Church's stained glass windows was completed Wednesday.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The restoration of an iconic Hattiesburg church heavily damaged in the Feb. 10 tornado is continuing, with the help of many local craftsmen and donations from around the country. On Wednesday, the last of the stained glass windows damaged in the storm was replaced at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Local craftsman John Whitt of Moselle worked on that project.

"There were only two of them that we had to completely rebuild," said Whitt. "The others, we just took apart and re-leaded. But, they are brand new windows with the original glass in them, except for replacing the broken pieces," he said.

About two dozen other workers have been busy repairing the roof, sanctuary and other parts of the church damaged in the storm. Church members hope all repairs will be done in time to celebrate a christmas eve service at the church.

"Masonry will start next week," said Butch Nobles, general contractor for the project and a member of the church. "The actual shingles will go on next week. The structural repair of the two-story will start within one week. Most roof structure has been replaced except for the two end walls," he said.  

Since the storm, church members been using the facilities at nearby Parkway Heights United Methodist Church to hold their services. They've also been getting donations from around the country to help them rebuild.

"It's been impressive and humbling to see how kind people have been, from small donations to substantial donations," said Althea Jerome, a member of the reconstruction committee for the church sanctuary. "And one of the things that impressed me so much is that it hasn't been just Presbyterians, it's been people from different denominations and people from different walks of life," she said.

You can donate to the church by going to its website at www.wpchattiesburg.com.

Copyright 2013 wdam. All rights reserved.