Storytellers: Bringing life back to The River Church

LYONS – This Easter will be extra special for parishioners at The River Church in Lyons. Last September, most of the church washed away when a flood poured in to town.

"We came to a point where we didn't know if it was going to be condemned or not," said Pastor Mickey Lohr.

Back then, Lohr and several others were uncertain, until the good surfaced from the bad.

"I didn't have any doubts. Some people did. I won't mention any names," joked Curt Hencye.

Without hesitation, volunteers like Hencye made their way to The River Church. Hencye is from Sarasota, Florida.

Dozens more from the country also came in to lend a hand and to help rebuild.

"There was a time when we need drywallers and drywallers showed up that week," Lohr said. "There was a time we needed electricians and electricians from a volunteer team showed up".

One after another, volunteers kept coming out of the wood work.

"When you go through a storm together it kind of pushes you together," said Lohr.

With the help of volunteers, nearly $400,000 worth of damage dropped down to only $34,000. The church's sanctuary, which was pretty much destroyed is completely rebuilt. Same goes for the church's dinner and meeting rooms.

"It actually changed us as a church," said Lohr.

This Easter, the folks at The River Church plan to embrace their new found change – and welcome the good it has brought them.

"This storm has brought our town together," Lohr said.


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