It was October of 2018, and Hurricane Michael was striking Panama City, FL. The category five storm would kill 16 people and cause over $25 billion in damages, including First United Methodist Church, Panama City. The church suffered structural damage throughout the entire campus.
Today repairs at FUMC Panama City continue. In fact, the church's sanctuary is still not open.
As Hurricane Laura approached Louisiana, Rev. Jeremy Pridgeon first remembers watching the storm and watching anxiety rise inside his church.
"It was just reminiscent of what Michael did on its approach in 2018," Pridgeon, the senior minister at First United Methodist Church of Panama City, says. "I really think the storm triggered emotions for members and residents here and there was an immediate sense of 'we need to do something!'"