HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Nearly four dozen pews that were damaged when a tornado hit Hattiesburg's Westminster Presbyterian Church last year have been refurbished and are ready to be re-installed in the church's renovated sanctuary. It's part of ongoing efforts to repair, rebuild and expand the decades-old church that sustained heavy damage in that Feb. 10, 2013 storm.
44 pews that received water damage and were sent to North Carolina for restoration were returned to Hattiesburg Wednesday.
They will be put into place in the coming days. "(The sanctuary) is a very peaceful, reverent place and we wanted it to be as it was before," said Steve Ramp, church pastor.
Ramp said new carpet was just put down in the sanctuary last week. And he said a church organ that was damaged will be coming in next week.
Meanwhile, construction continues on a new corridor and fellowship hall at the church. Ramp hopes all work will be finished in time to hold Christmas Eve services.
"Our people eager to be back in here, so that will be a wonderful homecoming for us," Ramp said.
Since the storm, the congregation has been meeting at the nearby Parkway Heights Methodist Church.