told News4Jax Friday. The popular church with 10,000 members has been forced to hold services in its old sanctuary, which is also the oldest Baptist church in the state of Florida. "My first, initial reaction was thankful we had somewhere to worship, so that we didn't have to go through the logistics of trying to find somewhere. My second reaction was, 'Lord, half the folks aren't going to come to church,'" McKissick said. For three months, the church has had to add extra worship services -- three every Sunday -- during the repair process to accommodatemembers, because the historic building only holds just under 1,000 while the damaged sanctuary holds nearly 4,000. Church members said the old sanctuary is a little bit snug, but they are now thankful the main sanctuary is undergoing a makeover and will reopen on New Year's Eve. Despite the setback, McKissick said, the congregation has had a strong mentality over the last three months following the devastatinghurricane. "One band, one sound. That was in 'Drumline' and I believe that," he said. McKissick added that members have been very generous, giving tithes and offerings to help cover repair costs. "People have been unbelievably faithful. Even while we're over there, it galvanized the church. We really banded together and that's why I'm really excited," McKissick said. The church's big New Year's Eve service will begin at 6 p.m. Dec.
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