Forest Acres, SC (WLTX) On this one year anniversary of the October floods, 10 different churches and synagogues came together in forest acres for a service of remembrance and hope at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Paul Wollner helped organize the services of remembrance and hope along with the city and other clergy. He tells News 19, "This community persevered through a very difficult time because of the cohesiveness; neighbor helping neighbor and that is rooted both in scripture and our every day lives."
The City of Forest Acres motto might be "A City Apart," but community members came together to recover from the devestating 1,000 year flood and in the recovery in the year since then. But forever tied to the devestation caused by the flood is another loss, the death of Forest Acres Police Officer, Greg Alia, whose funeral was held on October third as the rains began to fall. Mayor Frank Brunson spoke to those who gathered saying both were heart breaking for his city. Brunson says, "We know that there are 10 to 15% of people affected by the flood, businesses and homes, that have not gotten back into their homes yet and some of the may not."
Patricia Hatcher is one of those. She lost her home and her beloved pet and all of the keepsakes from her late husband. She says, "Just about everything left and I realized what you have what you remember stays in your heart no matter whether it goes or not."
The heart of the city was also under water. The police department had to relocate to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. During the service, police officers and first responders were blessed. But even as they reflect on last October's flood, they are mindful what Hurrican Matthew may bring to our state in the coming days
Pastor Wollner says, "We will also continue to lift up prayer knowing that disasters never end, but the love for community and the care for neighbor will always be stronger than that."
There was a collection taken at the end of the service which will be used to pay it forward and sent to flood victims in Lousiana. Also the Forest Acres Restaurant Association hosted a reception after the service for those who attend.