BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Living Faith Christian Center on Winbourne Avenue in Baton Rouge held its first service since the August flood.
The church has over 5,000 members, and according to Bishop Raymond Johnson, suffered over $1.5 million in damage. Gary Williams is a longtime member that was ecstatic this morning.
"It's just… almost hard to explain the amount of damage," Johnson said. "And just to see things you worked so hard for, just in four or five days, just be completely destroyed."
The minute the doors opened, the band and choir filled the renovated stage with music.
The main parts of the building, like the hallways, have been re-done… but Johnson says there's still a lot of work left, including replacing damaged technology and youth class rooms.
But the church is more focused on helping their members who are still displaced.
Johnson estimates around thirty percent of their members are still not back in their homes, so the church will continue to raise funds for them.
Gary Williams, who's been a member for the past ten years, says the church is like a big family and he wants to help as many people as he can.
"The best part is the praise and worship of the service," Williams says. "To be able to fellowship with friends and family… and just to lift the lord up."
Johnson's message this morning was about hope and perseverance.
He says despite the recent challenges, members need to stay optimistic.
"It's all about reflecting and perspective," Johnson says. "Of being grateful, in spite of what we've gone through, and that we should pick up where we left off, of serving god and serving our community."
Johnson says the church has already raised around $25,000 to help members recover from the flood.