Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara to reopen after repairs to flood damage
Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara is on track to reopen this Sunday, after being forced to close and hold services off site for the last three weeks due to sustained flood damage caused by the Jan. 9 storm.
“We had every square inch covered with water,” Senior Pastor Tommy Schneider told the News-Press. “A minimum of four inches on every floor service and up to two and a half feet in the children’s area.
“It was 38,000 square feet of damage,” he said. “We had to remove the drywall up to two feet, almost a mile of drywall.
“All wood, vinyl and carpeting had to be removed, and the floors scraped from the adhesive, which holds bacteria,” Pastor Schneider said.
“We had over 50 volunteers a day removing the water, cleaning the floors, disinfecting and removing anything touched by the water,” he noted. “We are doing double shifts, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There are all generations working together. “Additionally, we have been helping out our neighboring businesses by feeding their workers and helping to remove drywall,” he said. “We have had people sign up to bring food for our volunteers and neighboring workers every day, feeding about 60-70 people in total.
“Many families have donated food, as well as at least four other churches have brought food,” said Pastor Schneider
“The restoration is going fantastic quite honestly,” he noted. “We were able to get the building dry early on. The sanctuary is almost done. The painting is done, and the carpeting and drywall is back. We have every intention of being open Sunday morning.”
Services are set for 9 and 11 a.m. at the church, located at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez, Suite 21.
Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara is often in the position of serving the community.
Pastor Schneider spoke to how it feels, in this turn of events, to be the recipient of help.
“It is strange for us to be in a place of receiving,” he said. “Five years ago, we were behind the lines ministering to over 350 first responders as well as those being rescued.”
“This year, on the Sunday prior to the anniversary, we prayed for those who had lost loved ones in the debris flow five years ago,” Pastor Schneider said.
“Every walk of life has come into this building to serve with us,” he noted, adding, “It’s overwhelming and beautiful. I’m surprised at how many interesting things the Lord has done in my heart through this.”
The News-Press asked Pastor Schneider what the church needs now from the community.
“Our church has shown up, and we have enough volunteers,” he said. “Right now, as we head into the final week, we are trying to have tradesmen and craftsmen. We need professional floor layers and carpet layers who may want to donate their time.
“I want to say thank you to the community,” Pastor Schneider said.
“We have been in the town for 48 years. We do Easter (service) at the courthouse, and a lot of the community knows us from that.
“There has been a real outpouring of love from the community that has been beautiful. We have always seen ourselves as the doorway to Santa Barbara. We want to rebuild so we can be helpful at the highest level we can.”