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First United Methodist in Carthage now cleaning out sanctuary

The sanctuary at First United Methodist Church in Carthage looks a little different than it did three weeks ago.
On October 23rd, this is what the sanctuary at First United Methodist Church in Carthage, Texas, looked like.

The ceiling fell to the floor.

There may have been a crack in the ceiling that led to the collapse.

"It's really pretty remarkable progress when you look at the before and after," says Pastor Keefe Cropper.

Last week crews started removing debris, in hopes to salvage what they could.

Until the sanctuary is restored, the congregation will continue worshipping in the gym, which has been equipped with a platform, lecturn, choir area and a sound system.

Pastor Cropper says the switch has been a challenge.

"Well, I mean, technically, the transition has been tough,” says Pastor Cropper. “Just trying to get the sound to work right and projection, things like that."

But the process has actually brought the congregation closer together.

"The best thing about it is that we're all together,” says Cropper. “We typically have two services, and it's just been fun that we're...during this period of time gathered together as family, so that's been the best thing about it."

Since there's more room, the pastor doesn't feel stuck in one area.

"For here, the only advantage is the level of the freedom of movement,” says Cropper. “There's less freedom when you stand inside a pulpit."

Pastor Cropper thanks God for the freedom, but can't wait to be back in the original place of worship.
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