After Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in Haiti and the Caribbean, it swept along the East Coast of the United States. It has destroyed the livelihood of many Americans.

According to CBS News, Hurricane Matthew has caused at least $10 billion dollars in damages, and is the costliest hurricane since Sandy in 2012. At least 36 people have died in the U.S., most of them in North Carolina, where flooding has been severe. While the losses in the U.S. are not comparable to the catastrophic loss of life (more than 1,000 deaths in Haiti alone), homes, and agriculture in Haiti, they are still major for some.

Several Wesleyan churches along the East Coast have been greatly affected. District superintendents from three districts have reported damages caused by Matthew.

South Coastal District, Dr. Dan Berry, district superintendent:

  • New Beginning Christian Church (pictured), an African American and affiliate church, suffered the most damage with their roof literally ripped off. They are trying to assess with insurance, etc. Everything is moving slow due to an overwhelming demand on the insurance carriers and assessors. A crew put a tarp on the roof, trying to cease further damage. They could use assistance from several teams. Even if the insurance covers this loss the contracts will be very costly and it will take some time to respond due to heavy demand.
  • North Brunswick Church has problems with its roof.
  • New Beginnings Community Church in Richmond Hill reported limbs, branches, and trees to be collected. Churches more inland also reported only trees, limbs, and branches down. Several reported near misses by larger trees for which they give God thanks.

Florida District, Rev. Patrick Styers, district superintendent:

  • A church on Grand Bahama Island in Freeport, Bahamas (part of Florida District), had a section of its roof ripped off and some damage to the building interior. A pastor in Freeport lost a good portion of the roof of his home and has sustained damage to a portion of the interior.
  • Phones and power lines in Freeport have been down with no electricity, and churches are without supplies to repair the problems. (However, Samaritan’s Purse and Florida Power and Light have arrived to help.)
    • Several churches along the East Coast reported roofing issues and some interior problems due to water.
  • Smaller issues for some churches were reported, such as trees down, damaged signs, lost power, etc.

North Carolina East District, Rev. Jonathan Lewis, district superintendent:

  • Lots of flooding in numerous locations.

Hydrant Church in Goldsboro: Wayne County is pretty bad off, and some people are getting the worst of it now from river flooding. There are various shelters for people. We have opened the church for people who need it for hot showers, charging devices, and coffee. Roads all over are flooded and completely washed out. People are without power all over town. All schools are closed for at least this week. More people are losing power now from flooding, caskets are coming out of the ground, and businesses are under water. The church will be assessed for damage of garage, sign, and playground. Our anniversary celebration will go on this Sunday, all the more to celebrate. God certainly protected the main church building, but the parking lot was chest deep with water. The water did not go in the building!

While the shelters have been able to provide some necessities in Wayne County, the greatest need is for funds to help people restock their refrigerators and pantry supplies. Cleaning equipment and supplies are also a huge need, for as the waters recede families will be left with much to mud out and clean up. It has to be done soon and done right, or mildew will threaten people’s health.

  • District churches are being encouraged to take up an offering (Eastern NC Flood Relief Love Offering) to assist district churches in need.

If you would like to assist these churches and districts as they recover, please contact the district offices for more information:

South Coastal District office: 770-922-7514,

Florida District office: 813-907-5511,

North Carolina East District office: 336-886-7729,

South Coastal District church roof damages