MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As Memphis works to get back to normal, Citadel of Deliverance Church of God in Christ is rebuilding after winter storms caused pipes to burst, flooding many parts of their nearly 50,000 square foot building.
“This past Christmas eve on Saturday while all of us were getting ready and preparing for Sunday, which would’ve been Christmas I received a phone call that there was a leak at the church," Bishop Linwood Dillard, who has been pastoring in the city of Memphis for over 20 years, said.
This leak then turned into a flood; overnight water poured into Citadel of Deliverance COGIC in east Memphis.
“But when the time frame of receiving that call and arriving here there was a major burst," Bishop Dillard said. "The sprinkler system had burst because of the frigid temperatures; that literally flooded out the sanctuary and some other common areas here."
Bishop Dillard said the church sits on 11 acres with facilities encompassing a little over 50,000 square feet; the main sanctuary, backstage, the pulpit area, the altar, and more are all flooded. And as Citadel of Deliverance prepared to have Christmas services in an unaffected area of the church more flooding occurred.
“We had planned to try to move our service on Christmas morning to the gym and then obviously we experienced damages overnight," Bishop Dillard said. “For this to happen on Christmas eve and on Christmas was a total as at any time, but especially during that time that is very significant in the life of a church, and to be incapacitated in that moment was very, very heart wrenching and disappointing."
But Bishop Dillard isn’t letting disappointment dampen Citadel’s traditions or faith.
“Our faith causes us to understand that all things in some way work together," Bishop Dillard said. "It’s not the end. I believe that this crisis has caused us as a church to reenforce and forging forward even as it comes to the new year.”
A new year, will bring new unity.
“None of us anticipated this," Bishop Dillard emphasized. "This has been a major setback for our city. So many have been impacted in so many significant ways. But just know that god is in charge and then also know it’s more critical now that we come together, band together, support one another.”
Citadel of Deliverance is pushing through, crews and community members have been helping with the cleanup all week and Bishop Dillard is very adamant; the ministry is still having its new year’s celebration this Saturday, Dec. 31 at 10 P.M.