Shepherdsville church opens after facing flood

Members of the Mercy Hill congregation exit the church on Mother's Day. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Members of the Mercy Hill congregation exit the church on Mother's Day. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Months after flooding brought the construction of a Shepherdsville church to a standstill, worshipers were finally able to settle in to their new home.

Members of Mercy Hill Church said they've learned a lot since the water rose in February.

Some buildings just seem to change hands more than others.

"I had people raise their hands," pastor Nathan Young said. "'How many people bought their jeans here or their boots?' A bunch of people in the congregation said that they had."

One structure at the corner of West Joe B. Hall and Plum Street in Shepherdsville has been a hardware store, a car wash, and, as history would have it, a new group of people are eager to call it home.

"The nursery is in there," Young said, explaining the layout of the new church.

Mercy Hill Church opened to the public Sunday, but this time, those bringing new life to the old building are doing so after two years of hard work came to an abrupt halt - and the future of the site became uncertain.

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"We got the news that the river was rising pretty quickly," Young said. "So, we made a mad dash and moved much of our stuff to higher ground."

It's a good thing Young decided to do that.

"It came up to a little above my knee," Young described.

Water from the Salt River crept into the church a month before construction was set for completion.

"Having a fishing pole standing on the roof at your church isn't something you get to do everyday," Pastor Scott Slater said. "To watch a guy go by on a kayak, in your front door, is not something that's normal."

So, worshipers kept meeting at Bullitt Central High, where they had been setting up and tearing down each Sunday for the past five years, as volunteers from their congregation, community and afar, saved what was supposed to be their new, permanent home.

"There have been some very good times," Slater said. "We've had people praying for us, getting to hear the response from the community."

A community that once again welcomed a new neighbor at the corner of Plum Street on Sunday.

"The best way I could describe it is just humbled," Young said.

A neighbor that, thanks to their compassion, might be sticking around a little longer than others in the past.

Church pastors said there is still some work that needs to be done at the church, but it is about 95 percent complete.

The group plans to renovate a second story room into a space for youth programs.

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