A year after Ike, doors open in Seabrook
When Hurricane Ike destroyed Seabrook Methodist Church on NASA Parkway and Texas 146 last year, minister Tony McCollum knew starting over wouldn't be easy.
I have to say had the hurricane not come, it would have been hard to rebuild," said McCollum. We've been on that campus 70 to 80 years, and there's a strong attachment to that place."
But the hurricane confirmed the need to rebuild, a process that actually began 10 years ago when the church purchased the land for $225,000 and began to draw up plans.
This got us over the hump," McCollum said. It was time to quit talking and make it happen."
The new church building at 3300 Lakeside Drive in Seabrook hosted its first Sunday services Sept. 13 exactly one year after Ike hit.
A lay leader at the church, Bettye Beason of League City, said attendance at the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services was wonderful in all ways."
A member since 1976, Beason said about 600 people filled the new church beyond available seating, including congregants who had moved away.
They returned to join present members at the services to witness the consecration of the pulpit, baptismal font, chancel and altar.
At 13,000 square feet and a cost of $3.5 million, the new facility replaces the sprawling old 40,000-square-foot building that was built over six phases that included some wasted space.
But while McCollum said the space of the new church is a small step down" in square footage, it's a big step up from what members have been using since Ike a trailer used as mobile rental space, congregants' homes and room borrowed from Ed White Elementary School.
Turner Partners Architecture designed the church, and Fretz Construction Co. built it.
McCollum said it was paid for primarily through a capital stewardship campaign" that asked congregants to make pledges and then donate that amount. Insurance money also will contribute to the final bill.
To help ease the transition, Beason said, members held a goodbye ceremony" at the old property several months ago.
It was a time of remembrance," she said.
The old building's overwhelming odor meant gathering in the parking lot.
The greatest reward from all this has been the opportunity to lead the congregation through a significant transition in the life of this church," said McCollum. Doors opened up in amazing ways. Provisions were made to help us through this timesome were planned and some fell in our lap. I believe God is blessing us as a congregation."
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