WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — In the heart of Winter Garden, the historic Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church has been a pillar of strength and faith for the community for over a century.
However, in the wake of hurricane Ian last year, the church found itself in dire need of help.
What You Need To Know
- Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Winter Garden has been closed due to storm damage last year
- Roof and flood damage due to hurricane Ian shut the church down
- Local roofing company came to the rescue and is installing a new roof for free
- The church is the oldest African American church in Winter Garden
The insurance company denied the church’s claim and canceled their policy.
The roof was destroyed, and the inside of the church flooded causing mold and mildew.
“It was bad. Mold, mildew everywhere,” said Pastor Terrell Blair.
Blair was not sure where the church was going to get the money to make the necessary repairs that totaled $100,000.
He started getting estimates for the roof when he met Odis Mooty, a salesman from West Orange Roofing.
Blair told Mooty about the church’s situation and prayed with him in the parking lot.
Mooty then went to his boss looking for a miracle.
“As just an act of faith, we reached out to our owner and told him there is no money involved with this,” said Mooty. “But if there is any way we can help this church we would love to help them. He came through.”
West Orange Roofing donated their services for the $40,000 new roof, which is being installed on the church.
Additional community support is helping to rebuild the inside of the facility.
The church has been holding services via Zoom since March.
Once construction finishes, the church plans to reopen in the next few months.