SPRUILL: We only had about 20 people show up for that service. Normally we have many more than that, maybe 50or 60. I remember once the service began I was in the middle of my sermon, nobody was paying any attention to a word I was saying because that same kind of rain I had described on Saturday was happening again, just sheets of rain pounding on the church and I saw parishioners looking out the windows with their mouths open just- y’know, how much more of this can we take?
I did go ahead and finish my sermon. The shape of our worship is that after the sermon we have Holy Communion. A priest colleague was with me leading the service.
PILCHER: Who was that?
SPRUILL: Tim Taylor, the Reverend Tim Taylor. So he was leading us in the Eucharistic prayer and I was standing beside him at the altar and I’ll never forget this as long as I live, I looked up ‘cause I saw a flash across the back of the chapel, the door entering the chapel and it was one of those volunteers who’d spent the night racing down the hall he stops, backs up, pokes his head into the chapel and sees me looking at him and shakes his head like, ‘this is not good’. I definitely got the message from his head-shaking.
PILCHER: Do you remember who that was?
SPRUILL: Eric Grasman, E-r-i-c Grasman, G-r-a-s-m-a-n
SPRUILL: Within about a minute or less of seeing that, a small wall of water about six inches maybe just began to wash right on into the chapel from the back pew all the way up to the altar. In retrospect it seems like it was in slow motion but you could actually hear it. And I saw parishioners beginning at the back but also moving forward jump off their knees because they had been on their knees to pray during this prayer. And my colleague Tim was oblivious to this ‘cause he was looking down at our, you know, our prayer book as he offered up the prayer, and I’d let him finish I didn’t want to interrupt the prayer. He got to the ‘amen’ and I said “hold on just a minute folks”, I said we’ve got a major issue here. Why don’t we go into another room in the church to finish this. So we got up at that point, walked into one of our large Fellowship halls and the water had not yet gotten into that room and we-
PILCHER: Which hall was that?
SPRUILL: Hampton Hall. We distributed the sacrament, said our post communion prayer, said amen and we busily got scrambling trying to get furnishings off the floor, I’d say for the next three hours or so kind of a mad dash to save as much as we could. The water got to be about two to three feet in the back of the church facility, that portion, again, where our kindergarten is located. The rest of the building was probably covered under no more than eight inches of water at any one time but I had no idea that that much water could do so much damage.