Poplar Head parishioners express gratitude for hurricane help

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GENEVA, Ala. (WTVY) - Following Hurricane Michael's destruction in the Florida Panhandle neighbors went to work helping neighbors. First Baptist Church of Geneva learned of needs at Poplar Head Baptist Church in Clarksville, Florida and went to work.

Members of First Baptist went down there for eight straight Saturdays to lend a helping hand.

One Poplar Head church member noted that the dedication was tremendous as it came during the height of college football season in Alabama no less.

The two congregations came together to worship and celebrate a friendship brought together by the storm.

Troy Marks, pastor of Poplar Head Baptist Church, is never at a loss for words when it comes to delivering a sermon, but he is when it comes to describing the damage Hurricane Michael did to his community.

"The damage was - I can't describe it. I can't describe it,” said Marks. “It was the worst thing I've ever seen or been through."

The impact to his church was extensive, and they needed a little help getting life back to normal, which is where First Baptist of Geneva came into the picture.

"We had a couple guys with tractors that were able to go down there and move trees and debris,” said First Baptist Chairman of Deacons Michael Crews. “We did some cooking, which is something I enjoy doing. We took a grill to do hamburgers one day, and a fryer to fry fish."

After eight weekends of hard work, Poplar Head has entered the recovery stage, so Pastor Marks and members of his congregation made the trip up to Geneva to show their appreciation for all the help.

"It's kind of funny. Driving over here, some of my folks said, 'It don't even look normal here.' Our normal is no trees and everything broke about ten feet up,” said Marks. “This is not normal now, but we're well on our way out of it."

Poplar Head may have needed the help, but the members of First Baptist that made the trips down also grew from the experience.

"It gave me the opportunity to see the need, and it was easy to come back and tell the people, 'Hey, there's a huge need there.' People jumped in and got on board with what we needed to do,” said Crews.

Pastor Marks said that along with First Baptist from Geneva, churches from Pace and Chiefland also came to help with the recovery effort.