Vilonia congregation surprised by pew donation

VILONIA, Ark. (KTHV) – Even though the walls and roof are no longer there, a church in Vilonia still stands with the foundation and the people holding it together.

The Valley Church in Vilonia held service at 10 a.m. Sunday even though the building was destroyed a week ago. Dozens—from homeowners to volunteers in the area—came to the concrete slab to worship under the sun, but they didn't expect what happened next. As the sermon went, pews were dropped off—10 of them at first with another 20 on the way.

"When I heard that they were going to have services on an open slab, it just gave me chills," said Tommy Castleberry with Excel Construction of Arkansas, the group that delivered the pews. "Even with the devastation, we as Arkansans and we as Americans show that we persevere no matter what."

And, the giving didn't stop there. Carey and Kathleen Stevens, of Conway, delivered three hand-made music stands. Carey made them, and the couple thought that the slab is where they belonged.

"We've cried a lot of tears for their loss, and we figured just a little bit of beauty in the midst of all the devastation might be something that would give them a reason to move forward," they explained.

Monetary donations are also flowing to The Valley Church. Leaders of The one-year-old church are not sure if their building will be rebuilt, but they are sure that they are not leaving Vilonia.

Next Sunday's service will be at the Vilonia Primary School.


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