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Rochester Church Puts Preach to Practice After Flooding Damage Leaves Neighbor In the Cold

Rural Church, Midwest, Ohio, near Akron, USAThe Covenant United Methodist Church and Historic Parsells Church might operate under different denominations, but that hasn’t stopped them from coming together in a time of need. According to 13 WHAM, Pastor Ann Kemper of Covenant United Methodist Church and her parishioners decided in late February to literally “practice what they preach” and open up their doors when their neighbors at the Historic Parsells Church were left without a place to worship.

“The heart of our ministry is our people,” said Pastor Kemper. “So to actually open our literal doors was a no brainer.”

The issue that ultimately came to a head in February actually started back last summer. It was then that Parcells Church’s furnace started acting up, but due to financial constraints, they had been using a temporary heating unit this winter. Everything was running fine until one of the church’s pipes burst and the ensuing flooding destroyed the furnaces that were in use.

With no heat and still some winter weather to endure, things looked bleak, but the church’s Rev. Marlowe Washington knew everything would be okay.

“With God’s help we’re going to do it,” said Rev. Washington. “And we’re going to be fine.”

This time God’s help came in the form of help from the Methodist church down the street, as they welcomed the other church’s parishioners in and gave them a place to worship during the troubling time.

“It lets you know that God is real and he still reigns and that the stuff that we’ve done in this community has been done in vain,” said Kim Allen, Chair of the Church Council at Parsells. “The church is in us. It doesn’t matter where we are, we’re still going to continue our mission because God has put us in a path that we’re not going to stray from.”

No one knows just how long the compassionate partnership will last, but Parcells Church officials anticipate repairs for the pipes and damage done will run about $200,000. It’s unclear if the church has investigated non-traditional means of pipe repair, such as trenchless techniques, which can cost around 30% more up front but save thousands of dollars in restorative work later.

As a religious organization on the state and national registry they could be entitled to grant money to help with the repairs. Other churches in the area have also offered to help.