Ripley congregation unable to return to church
Will purchase new building after being displaced by flood
RIPLEY — The beginning of June brought heavy rains to the Ripley community but those impacted are finding a way back to normal as community members volunteered their time and facilities to help.
Ripley Pentecostals church on Clay Lick Road had damage to its newly-renovated building and volunteers have been working for the past few weeks to clean up the debris.
Pastor Frank Bounds said people from three recovery centers in Parkersburg came to help and several churches have offered a building so the congregation can worship together.
Bounds said the damaged building will not be used by the church again and the future of the building is unclear but the church will eventually purchase a facility in the Ripley area.
“We got a letter from the governor’s office saying they couldn’t help us,” Bounds said. “We don’t want to make any decisions while emotions are so high.”
For the time being, Ripley Pentecostals services are being held at New Life Fellowship at 2557 Charleston Road in Ripley. Despite the recent challenges, Bounds said the congregation is still faithful to one another and the church.
“They’re fine, they’re good people. We haven’t lost anybody, they’re happy where we (are) right now,” Bounds said.
Donations can be mailed to Ripley Pentecostals at 604 Carnian Ford Road, Ripley, WV 25271.
Pam Bailey’s School of Dance on Church Street in downtown Ripley also had flooding but Bailey said the building has been cleaned up and is hopeful there isn’t any permanent damage.
“Things are looking pretty good. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that it’s going to continue to be that way and that we don’t have problems down the road,” she said.
After the storm, Bailey said people showed up to help clean up the building.
“Some wonderful people just showed up and started helping. It speaks for itself, when you think things are bad in the world, there are people (who) are good people and (who) are there for you when you need them,” Bailey said.
When the storm hit on June 9, dancers were rehearsing at the Ripley High School auditorium to prepare for a recital which took place June 19. Because of that, no time was lost to cleanup efforts.
Normal classes will resume Monday.
“So far we’re coming out okay, we’re hoping everything will be fine,” Bailey said.
Candice Black can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.