|Building damaged; faith intact|
The sanctuary steeple of First Baptist Church in Punta Gorda, Fla., lies on the roof Aug. 15, the first Sunday after Hurricane Charley devastated the Southwest Florida city. “God’s with us to save our lives and show us His true power,” says member Jim Schaaf. Photo by James A. Smith Sr./Florida Baptist Witness
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (BP)--Jim Schaaf looked forward to celebrating his baptism Aug. 15 -– publicly displaying his identification with his Lord, Jesus Christ. Instead, he and his wife, Joan, spent his birthday and what was to be his baptism day roaming through the deserted and disheveled property of First Baptist Church in Punta Gorda, Fla.
The Florida Baptist Witness visited the church property Sunday morning, Aug. 15, and found the Schaafs inspecting the damage in what they called "a daze" -- like most of the residents of the city which bore the worst devastation from Hurricane Charley two days before.
Although the main building suffered what appeared to be superficial damage -- with the steeple snapped off its base and laying on the roof, the church parsonage seemed to have significant damage, including the loss of a large portion of its second story. Read More