Pastor holding service on church front porch after being damaged by Ian

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
A cross outside of a church. CREDIT: WINK News)

The Cape Coral Community Church, gutted by Hurricane Ian, is doing its best to pick up the pieces and carry on despite not having a sanctuary they are still holding services every week.

They’ve been forced to worship on the front porch because of the damage caused by Ian.

Half of the top of the church is boarded up because of the ferocity of the storm.

As people walk up the steps to enter, there’s no front door, all because of Ian’s powerful gusts blowing it off the hinges.

God has Pastor Tommy Dennis’ attention, especially after the damage done to Cape Coral Community Church.

“It’s almost like a wind tunnel. It just blew this wall out. And hit the next one. Blew the windows out over there and hit the exterior walls. Just bang bang bang,” Dennis said.

Pastor Dennis tore up the carpet after the damage was done. For those who worship at the church, it was emotional.

“A lot of them tears welling up in their eyes. I was just trying to encourage them that yes it’s more than just sticks and stones, it’s our church. Many memories attached but we’ll get through it,” Dennis said.

Amidst all the devastation, there are still signs of hope, crosses intact or created. And Pastor Dennis’ pulpit, hidden under the debris, still standing.

“It had a dent which when I preach from it today, I put my hand on that dent because it’s a reminder to me,” Dennis said. “I don’t try to make something a rainbow out of a rainstorm but that spoke to me and many people that God is still with us no matter what the devastation is around us.”

They help spread that hope, the church immediately put the needs of the community before its own by collecting supplies to donate to those who need them and continuing to have weekend services outside on their porch.

The pastor explained they could have relocated, but this is where they could do the most good.

“We need to assemble,” Dennis said. “Together to draw strength from one another. To pray together and to be able to help our neighbor.”

WINK News spoke with members of the church on Friday, and even though it’s outside, they treasure the opportunity to continue to worship together, especially while the community recovers.

The church will be giving out supplies for those who need them on Saturday at 10 a.m.

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