Church holds service after floods

103rd Street Baptist Church damaged by Tropical Storm Debby

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A church on Jacksonville's westside held a service on Sunday, just days after being flooded by Tropical Storm Debby's heavy rains.

The 103rd Street Baptist Church suffered thousands of dollars worth of damage to its floors and walls earlier in the week.

The inside of the church more closely resembled a construction zone on Sunday morning.

Images: Church rebuilds

Long-time church members like Earl Graves have been working hours on end and the repairs have only just begun.

"You just have to take it one room at a time. Just do what we can do," said Graves.

The church has made remarkable progress over the last few days. Gone is the floodwater -- but so is much of the carpet and drywall.

Pastor James Turner said the concern now is mildew and bacteria.

"Mud, skinks, frogs. I mean, all kinds of stuff. We had to get all the creatures out first, and then still found some in the walls as we were going," he said.

Turner said the church does not have flood insurance. He said they canceled their coverage two years ago before he became pastor.

Sunday morning, members set up chairs in the recreation room to hold a small service.

"Had a lady come down. Never seen her before, her name is Miss Ellen. She came down, gave us an enveloped with a $100 in it. Like I said, it's been nice to see the opportunities of people chipping in and helping," said Turner.

Turner also said area companies, along with another westside church and one in Nassau County, had donated time and supplies.

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