On Sunday, February 21, after an absence of nearly eight months, the Portland United Methodist congregation will once again worship within its own walls.
The morning will feature two worship services; a traditional service at 9:00 am and a praise team service at 11:15 am. In between there will be an open house celebration where people may tour the newly restored building.
With a great big smile on her face, Carol McLane, lay leader, celebrated the recent announcement, “It will be so good to be back in our sanctuary!”
PUMC was one of four area church buildings damaged by the F1 tornado on June 22, 2015. Restoration work began almost immediately. “It’s been a long haul, and many people have worked hard to make this happen. We are so thankful,” shared Todd Ness, trustee. With the roof ripped off, windows shattered, and the contents severely damaged by the ensuing rain, the congregation had to find an alternate place to worship. The Portland Playhouse willingly agreed to share their space.
Visitors to the church will notice a few details yet to be completed. Several large stained glass windows in the 103-year-old building were damaged in the storm and are still being restored. The Fowler Organ is also in the process of being cleaned and will soon return to its place in the chancel.
Rev. Letisha Bowman, who began her appointment to the church only days after the storm, will be formally welcomed to the church during the service on the 21st.
“Our building was damaged by the storm, but our church was unscathed,” she said. “We have remained faithful and strong and look forward to may years of worship and service at the corner of Bridge and Elm. God has been so good to us.”
For more click here to see a Wood TV8 interview with Pastor Tish Bowman.