Hurricane Michael Remembrance
Lynn Haven United Methodist Church will commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael with a worship event and fellowship lunch on the grounds of its Transmitter Road campus on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. All are invited to attend.
Pre-service music will begin at 8:45 am with worship following at 9:30 am. A complimentary lunch will be served afterward. Lynn Haven UMC’s Transmitter Road campus is located at 4501 Transmitter Road, Panama City, 32404.
Hurricane Michael caused significant damage to both of Lynn Haven UMC’s campuses when it made landfall on Oct. 10, 2018 as a Category 5 storm. On the first Sunday after the storm, pastors and church members gathered at the main campus to worship in the parking lot. This occurred again for the next six weeks until arrangements were made to temporarily utilize the gym at Bay Haven Charter Academy.
“To commemorate the significance of Oct. 10, 2018 in our lives, we’re inviting our congregation and the community to worship with us in our parking lot — where the destruction of the storm is still so visible — because we know that healing has only just begun,” said Craig Carter, lead pastor of Lynn Haven UMC. “We know we’re still in recovery mode, but thankfully our God is able to do infinitely, immeasurably more than we know to ask or even think. I always think back fondly to the fact that we had beautiful weather for seven straight Sundays when we worshiped in the parking lot post-hurricane. Then it rained the first Sunday we met in the Bay Haven gym. Hurricane Michael left our community hurting, but we are not broken. God is still good.”
The Hurricane Michael Remembrance will include worship, a catered lunch and activities for all ages. Bishop David Graves, Resident Bishop for the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, will attend and participate in the service. Bishop Graves has been a key leader in helping Lynn Haven UMC and other area churches recovery from the storm.
“We will never forget the fear of watching a Category 5 hurricane descend on our conference,” Bishop Graves said. “The residents of Panama City, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Marianna and many surrounding inland communities suffered significant property loss and experienced trauma that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”
The need for continued healing will be a key message at the event. Lynn Haven UMC Care Minister Heather Howell said the church continues to see the emotional toll from the storm.
“Though it’s been a year since the storm, healing is by no means complete,” Howell said. “Our community’s struggles are still evidenced by broken trees and destroyed buildings, but also by the emotional status of local residents. We may have a year of recovery under our belt, but there’s still a long road ahead in terms of being truly healed, individually, as a congregation and as a community. Our remembrance event will recognize that fact and offer elements of hope and healing to all who gather with us that day. We truly want to share the love and hope of Jesus with our community.”