Rebuilding a Church After a Disaster
Sometimes we come across a customer’s story that sparks an emotion in us. Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Paducah, Kentucky is one of those stories. It is a story of destruction, community, and rebirth.
On March 14, 2019, the Mt. Zion Baptist Church experienced a disaster that would forever change them. Around 9:30 that morning, an EF2 tornado tore thru western McCracken County in Kentucky. As tornado sirens blared, the 40 preschoolers and ten staff members of Mt. Zion Church huddled together in an innermost room for safety. As those gathered sang songs to remain calm, the tornado around them caused massive destruction to the church and nursery. Fortunately for those inside the innermost room, they were unharmed. But as they exited their safe space, they witnessed the destruction the tornado left behind. The church’s roof was torn off, walls, insulation, playground equipment, tables, and chairs were thrown around the exterior of the building.
The church staff and members quickly gathered to assess the damage and develop a plan to rebuild better than ever. The first two things that came to their minds were how to host Sunday service the upcoming Sunday and to reopen the preschool. “We’re not discouraged at all. We know that God has given an opportunity even to reach out to more people,” states Lead Pastor Conner.
Luckily for the church, their Family Worship Center was cleared for occupancy relatively quickly. In response, the staff immediately thought of ways to use their Screenflex Room Dividers to divide the Family Worship Center to continue operation.
The staff determined that the open space of the Family Worship Center could easily be divided into three sections to fulfill the needs of the church. The staff connected several Screenflex portable partitions to form separation to the right of the center stage to create classrooms for the three preschool classes. Not only did the movable walls designate each classroom space, but they provided a tackable surface to customize each classroom with personalized instructional material. Additionally, the fabric walls dampened the sound that often carried throughout the large center.
The middle of the Family Worship Center is designated as their worship and gathering space. The center stage creates an excellent backdrop for Sunday services to take place. Rows of foldable chairs were set up for guests to use during religious ceremonies.
To the left of the stage, the pastoral staff organized tables to create a temporary office. They were thankful for the space provided but were often distracted by activities taking place in the middle of the Center, including preschool playtime. That is when staff members reached out to Screenflex Portable Room Dividers to purchase additional room dividers. We were happy to assist the church staff with their request, and quickly shipped their room dividers out. Once the partitions arrived, the staff set up the partitions in a row to create privacy for the pastoral team. The extra set of Screenflex partitions also absorbed ambient noise from the preschool and church activities. The pastor enjoyed his new private office space and was appreciative for the sound absorption the walls provided.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church did open its doors for Sunday service that next Sunday and opened their preschool much sooner than expected because of the benefits the Screenflex Portable Room Dividers provided them: privacy, sound absorption, and flexible space.
“Church is not a building; the church is the people. God is going to give us great vision for the future. We as a church family, we are going to rally together,” Connor remarked. And today their vision includes making the most of their space with Screenflex folding walls.