Grace In The Mist of The Storm - Grace Presbyterian Church and The 2021 Texas Winter Storm
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago we were witnessing one of the worst winter storms in Texas history. The beauty of the snow-covered houses was set against the dire situation of burst pipes and electrical outages. So many people and businesses were negatively affected by the storm. But even in the middle of great tragedies, there are always good things that make their way to the surface. Things like communities coming together, neighbors helping neighbors and businesses helping other businesses. In this case, one local church helped another church temporarily relocate while repairs were being made on their sanctuary. Grace Presbyterian The Woodlands, located off of Woodlands Parkway experienced more damage than probably any other church in our area during the storm. We sat down with lead pastor Bradley Wright to talk about the storm damage, the aftermath, repair and relaunch of their church.
Pastor Wright is relatively new to Grace Presbyterian Church, having only served as their lead pastor for the past 15 months. He was called to serve at Grace in July 2020 when Grace’s previous pastor resigned. Bradley would kickstart his pastorate by continuing to deal with the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as weather a major winter storm. The latter event completely crippling his church facilities.
You can view a video from Pastor Wright below about the flooding right after the event happened. It shows some of the damaged building.
Bradley mentioned that during the snow storm, his church had several copper pipes burst in the ceiling above the men’s restroom and the fellowship hall, allowing the facility to flood for over 24 hours. Due to the drop in water pressure, that event also triggered their internal sprinklers to go off, continuing to damage the rest of the church. By the time they could assess the situation, they estimated that the winter storm had exacted over one million dollars in damage. We asked Pastor Wright about the aftermath of continuing regular church services without a building. One of the great things about The Woodlands is the willingness of residents and businesses to help others in need. Bradley was friends with the pastor at WoodsEdge Community Church in The Woodlands. When hearing about the damage at Bradley’s church, WoodsEdge didn’t hesitate to offer help with a temporary building. For 19 weeks, Grace Presbyterian The Woodlands held their services at WoodsEdge’s secondary worship building. They didn’t skip a beat. Faith Church also helped provide a facility for them for a Saturday worship service as well.
Click here to view the photo gallery of images of damage and repair of the Grace Presbyterian The Woodlands Church.
For regular worship services, Grace’s congregation was blessed with using WoodsEdge’s building. For staff, Bradley said that along with working remotely, they would also meet at his home to conduct meetings for church business. The church sanctuary was built in 2004 and their education building was built in 2012. There was several inches of water throughout the church. They ended up having to rip out four feet of sheetrock from all the walls. While repairing the church, they also took the opportunity to replace the older copper pipes with the PEX piping. This will hopefully allow the pipes to expand if they ever freeze again. With new walls, pipes and a fresh coat of paint, Grace Presbyterian The Woodlands Church opened their doors again on July 19, 2021. It was a testament to the faithfulness of God in their lives and the love of their community that they were able to weather that storm. Bradley mentioned that, at first, it was human nature to wonder what they were going to do in this type of situation and how well a congregation can weather this type of storm. His answer though is that a person always has to rely on God to meet their needs. If God decides to repair and reopen a church, He will provide for that. But if he doesn’t, it may be that He has greater things in store for them.
Pastor Wright gave me a tour of the newly updated church while I interviewed him. It is a very nice building. The interior of the sanctuary and the entrance is unique and beautiful. If you are ever in the area on a Sunday morning, my advise is to attend one of their church services. Check out the new facility and hear a great sermon from Pastor Wright.
Click here to learn more about Grace Presbyterian The Woodlands Church.
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