Church damaged in tornado begins expansion project

A crew works on a new corridor Saturday for Westminster Presbyterian Church.
A crew works on a new corridor Saturday for Westminster Presbyterian Church.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of a Hattiesburg church that was heavily damaged in last year's tornado have nearly completed making repairs on their historic building and are now beginning an expansion project on the church grounds.

Saturday, concrete was poured for a corridor at Westminister Presbyterian Church. It will connect a new fellowship hall with the restored sanctuary and education building.

The 2013 tornado caused major roof and water damage to the iconic structure. But now, 90 percent of that building has been restored.

"(In) another week or so, we'll pour the slab for Montague Hall, which is a large fellowship hall and kitchen, and that will tie it all together and we'll be a full-service church again," said Steve Ramp, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

"As crews continue on the fellowship hall slab, the framing crews will start (on the corridor) probably the latter part of next week," said Butch Nobles, general contractor for the project. "Work is continuing inside the existing building and it's nearing completion. We're in good shape on it," he said.

Pastor Ramp hopes all work will be finished in time to hold Christmas services at the church. In the meantime, the congregation will continue to hold services at the nearby Parkway Heights United Methodist church, where they've been meeting since the storm.

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