Sanford church moves for second time

Pastor John Kivette

May 11, 2011 8:31:27 PM PDT
The congregation of a Sanford church damaged by a tornado last month is gearing up to move for a second time.

The tornado caused around $175,000 of damage to Christian Faith Ministry. The wind ripped off the roof and blew several trees into the building.

While the building is being repaired, Pastor John Kivette says finding a temporary place to worship has been a test of faith.

"It was devastating," Kivette said.

His eyes tear up and his heart cries out to God when he looks at his tornado battered church.

"When I first seen it, I cried and then I thanked GOD we survived," Kivette said.

As construction crews scramble to repair the tiny, cinderblock and wood church, Kivette hustles to try and find another place for his congregation to worship. Two weeks ago, he moved into an empty manufacturing plant a few blocks away.

On one side, he set up a sanctuary and on the other side, a food distribution program.

"My church has always given a couple hundred families food each month, but since this crisis has happened, in the past two weeks, we have given out 165,000 to 175,000 pounds of food," Kivette said.

He says city officials have told him his food program can stay in the building, but Sunday church services have to go.

"The city came in and said we had to move because we don't meet fire code for assembly, and so we are moving again," Kivette added.

The Pastor says community officials helped him get an auditorium at the County Arts and Community Center on Steele Street for his worship services.

Kivette says his 160 member congregation is grateful for a place to worship until their own house of God is rebuilt.

"The church is so blessed and I thank God we survived, and I thank God we are able to rebuild," Kivette said. "Some people won't be able to rebuild. I thank God we was able too."

Christian Faith Ministry hopes to move into its old homecoming service in the new building in about three months.

Temporary worship location
First Christian Ministries
Sunday Worship and Wednesday Night Bible Study
Community Arts Center
Steele Street, Sanford

Food Distribution
Tuesday and Thursdays
Old Cabinet Depot Building
Industrial Drive
Sanford, NC

Contact Address
First Christian Ministries
4217 Smith Road
Sanford, NC 27322

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