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Hurricane Irma Damages CMC Church in Florida

By Lydia Gingerich

“On Sunday, September 10, strong winds from Hurricane Irma tore shingles off the roof of Southmost Mennonite Church’s building, damaged their security lights, church sign, and awnings on their Sunday school classrooms,” reports John Hershberger, overseer of the church.

While most of the damage done by Irma occurred in the Caribbean Islands southeast of Florida, many areas in the state also experienced significant destruction, including Florida City – home to the Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) congregation, Southmost Mennonite Church. Southmost is a cross-cultural congregation that joined CMC in 1992.

“We along with the Southmost congregation are so grateful and appreciative for the prompt and generous response from all of the congregations who helped.”Upon hearing about the broken roof and battered building, John asked other churches in the conference to help out with this urgent need. Financial help came from four CMC churches (Fairview Mennonite Church – Kalona, IA; Shiloh Mennonite Church – Resaca, OH; Fairlawn Mennonite Church – Apple Creek, OH; Bethel Mennonite Church– Sarasota, FL) and two other churches in Sarasota (Sunnyside Fellowship and Palm Grove Mennonite Church), allowing the reconstruction to begin on September 25. By October 11 the roof was completely repaired and the church could go on with their regular proceedings.

John expresses his appreciation for all those who gave support during this time: “We along with the Southmost congregation are so grateful and appreciative for the prompt and generous response from all of the congregations who helped.”


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Pastored by Ludlow Walker (center), Southmost has an outreach focused on the youth and children in the surrounding community. Please pray that the ministry of this church would continue to grow and that the minor damages to other members’ homes would be fixed soon.