WYNNE, Ark. — This Sunday is Easter. It’s one of the most important holy days in Christianity, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. WREG traveled to Wynne, Arkansas where Easter will be a day of new beginnings for members of one church there, now in ruins.
Pastor Matt Carter speaks from his heart about the transformation of Wynne First United Methodist Church, from a thriving house of worship to one left in shambles following last Friday’s tornado.
“We’ve lost a building…but it is just a building. We’re still the church and we still have a calling that Christ has given us to go and fulfill,” Pastor Carter said. “The sanctuary is the building that we know for a fact we’re going to lose. It’s already been condemned. It’s scheduled to come down later next week. We’re currently evaluating the rest of the buildings on campus to see if they can be saved.”
The sanctuary, where more than four hundred members would normally gather on Easter Sunday is empty, cleared by church staff and volunteers.
“And they’ve been working all week to try and remove the pews and other things from here that we use weekly in worship to try and save them,” Pastor Carter said.
Pastor Carter believes the devastation left by the EF-3 twister provides a unique opportunity for ministry this Sunday.
“Easter Morning is about celebrating that Jesus Christ didn’t stay in the tomb,” Pastor Carter said. “We can follow the example of Jesus Christ and we can rise from the death. We can rise from the destruction and we can go because we have a mission and a ministry.”
To meet that mission, First United Methodist Church will be holding Easter Services at the Knights of Columbus meeting hall on St. Peters Road. With that, it’s still difficult for church members to say goodbye to their hold sanctuary.
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There’s no forgetting what First United Methodist Church has meant in their lives.
“This has been my home church and this is where I look to to find my place of peace on Sunday mornings,” Tyler Griffin, Trustee at Wynne FUMC.
There are many faith based-and non profit groups still offering assistance in Wynne that will be sharing donations and prayer with victims during this special weekend.