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Deluge swamps Circleville church housing homeless shelter, food pantry

Every section of the multi-ministry building was under water.

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — A group of Pickaway County ministries and help agencies are under water after Monday night's deluge.

Circle of Light Worship Center is home to a homeless shelter and food pantry in Circleville.

Knee-deep water filled Hope House of Pickaway County Tuesday morning.

It is a shelter for homeless men, whose residents had to be moved in the middle of the night.

Hope House is one of five service ministries under the roof of the Circle of Light Worship Center.

Rushing water invaded every corner of the space, including the sanctuary.

"About a foot and a half of water, two foot of water, from one end of this building clear to the other end of the building," said Youth Pastor Terry Thompson.

Church leaders got on scene about six Tuesday morning.

"Started assessing the damage and tried to figure out — salvage what? Because at that point it was still coming in and we didn't know how high it was gonna get," Thompson said.

He says the water began receding by 9:30, but the damage was done.

He says the food pantry house there distributes thousands of meals a month.

Much of their food is now ruined, at a time when the need for this help has rarely been higher.

"That's our biggest concern, is how do we get the ministries back up and running quickly, to help with the pandemic, and help with that? Because they did have a safe, comfortable place to go that was clean," Thompson said. "It is material things, but there's a lot of lives that are going to be affected by the lack of food, lack of shelter. There's been a lot of blood sweat and tears into this building. And to watch it all go away in a matter of an hour is really disheartening."

But heart, and faith, remain in strong supply here.

"I know that some good will come out of this. We don't always see the good at this point in time. But I know there will be good come out of it."

Hope House says it has found a temporary place for its homeless residents.

The church pastor says insurance will not cover much of this damage.

For information on how to help, visit the Circle of Light Worship Center's Facebook page.