Monday, May 5, 1997
A blessed restoration
Historic church reopens doors

BY TIM PENNINGTON
Enquirer contributor

NEW RICHMOND - Forty-five minutes before church services were to begin Sunday, Mike Findland was raking the grounds at Cranston Memorial Presbyterian Church.

''Just look at that guy work,'' said Pete Schroeder, a fellow church member. ''We're going to have to make him go and get dressed up for church or he'll be out here all day.''

It was the first service in the 141-year-old church at Union and Washington streets since flooding from the Ohio River dumped more than 2 feet of murky water in the church's elevated first floor.

Since then, members and other volunteers have spent nearly every day restoring walls and furnishings.

Sunday, the 80-person congregation, which had been meeting at a church on Ohio 132, heard Rev. Kevin Murphy's sermon, ''I Love You Man.'' A luncheon to honor clean-up volunteers followed in the remodeled fellowship hall.

''It's good to be back home again,'' Rev. Mr. Murphy said. ''This is a great and wonderful day for all of us.''

COMMEMORATIVE SECTION
FLOOD STORIES
FLOOD PHOTOS