CRUSO, N.C. – As people in Cruso continue to deal with tremendous loss, many of them are searching for hope.
What You Need To Know
East Fork Baptist Church held Sunday service for Cruso residents
Pastor Mark Tice says the church suffered significant damage
Five people are dead, one person remains missing in Haywood County days after flooding hit the area
On Sunday, East Fork Baptist Church held services for Cruso residents and others who wanted to join to pray and come together as a community.
“People need normalcy. They need something solid that they can set their foot on and gain their bearings,” Pastor Mark Tice said. “If I can give them church service at 11 and remind them that there is something still normal, then we’ll move forward.”
Tice gave his sermon as he was surrounded by piles of rubble left behind days after flooding hit the area.
“It’s a mess everywhere you go,” Tice said as he overlooked the cleanup process at the church. “They tore up all the flooring and got the mud out of here, and the next step will be to wash it down.”
Tice said members of the community have come out in recent days to help him salvage what’s left inside the church.
“We called for a small group to come help to get the fabric, pews and things out,” Tice said. “And about 100 people showed up.”
Dozens of people showed up at the church on Sunday, including residents, law enforcement officials, search and rescue crews and state leaders.
Tice encouraged churchgoers to let out their emotions of the past few days.
“It’s OK to cry today. It’s OK to rejoice today,” Tice told the crowd.
Tice is grateful for the generosity and resilience showed by community members and beyond over the past week.
“They’ve helped their neighbors. They’ve cooked for their neighbors. They’ve taken things to their neighbors and rebuilt roads,” Tice said.
Over the next week, Tice is planning to get a tent put up outside to hold future services for churchgoers. In the meantime, Tice has been posting services and daily updates on East Fork Baptist Church’s Facebook page.