The deep freeze on Valentine’s Day 2021 left many churches underwater, literally. After a year of pandemic, we experienced a freeze that resulted in burst pipes in many congregations. Many of these pipes were from fire retardant systems in the ceiling that froze and burst. One of the companies with expertise in rebuilding after disasters, and dealing with insurance companies is United Restoration.
United has been doing work with Principe de Paz in Houston, Saint Martin’s in Sugarland, New Hope in Missouri City, Grace in Conroe, Spirit of Joy the Woodlands, and St. John in Waller. Today, December 5, on the second Sunday of advent, I visited Principe De Paz on Sunday morning to preach and preside for first communion and then at Spirit of Joy for their open house. I followed up with a call to United’s owner, Chad Kirby, to thank him for his work.
Spirit of Joy had a significant amount of damage around the building. The new floors and offices look awesome. Work is still being done on the kitchen. A gifted architect in the congregation has helped to make wise choices in restoration.
Principe De Paz had damage to the ceiling, the wall, and floor in two buildings. all that got fixed and two bathrooms in the narthex got an upgrade. The Senate disaster fund covered their deductible, and other donations helped with overages.
Getting materials during the supply train crisis created by the pandemic has been a huge challenge. Prices have gone up considerably. Then of course United has to wrestle with insurance companies over what they will and will not cover, and how much they will pay. United discovered asbestos at one congregation, which required extensively more remediation and also slowed things down considerably.
I haven’t heard back from every congregation yet, but when all the projects are complete, it will be helpful to know how things went, and what we learned about insurance companies and contractors. I asked Chad if all the projects would be done by the one-year mark in February. “Some yes. Some no way.”