DENHAM SPRINGS — A combination of faith, hope, hard work and a lot of prayer did what some feared was impossible for Abundant Life Church.

The church recently reopened its 180 Youth Building, which will host services while work continues on the domed sanctuary.

The return of 180 – which reopened after six months – kicked off with the Youth Night, a Wednesday night staple at the Range Avenue church.

“It feels good just to move forward,” Senior Pastor Greg Beatty said.

The church campus experienced flooding in all five of its buildings. The 180 Sanctuary received the least amount of water.

The 180 Youth Building took in nearly four feet of water in the flood.

The refurbished edition now includes a full-size indoor basketball/volleyball court.

“There’s no way we weren’t going to let this be rebuilt,” High School Youth Pastor Trey Major told the crowd of 300. “God doesn’t take away from something that hasn’t been finished.”

Members of the church’s staff and congregation stepped up to the plate for the rebuild process.

“Some of our staff learned how to install sheet rock in the process,” Beatty said.

The jubilation marked a stark contrast from the fears Beatty and others had in the days immediately after the flood.

“Our biggest fear was losing the building to mold,” he said. “What was really special about this process is that we had people here helping us when they were restoring their own homes in the process.”

Abundant Life used another building on its campus for the weekly worship services until the reopening of 180.

“It’s been tight, but we’ve been able to hold a congregation,” Beatty said. “We still have a long way to go and this could get discouraging, but we can’t let it get us down and stop us from doing what we’re doing.”

“We’re excited,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the staff and volunteers who helped put this back together.”

Hope kept Beatty and his congregation forward. He even preached on hope for several weeks.

“It’s what the people need – hope in God and hope in his Word,” he said.

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John Dupont is a reporter at The Livingston Parish News. He can be reached at johnorydupont@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @dupont_john.

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