During Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New Jersey coast on Oct. 29, 2012, a Christian vacation community founded by Methodist ministers lost its beloved pier.
Ocean Grove, a summer vacation destination with a population of about 8,000, is celebrating the resurrection of the pier differently this year. It is shaped like a cross.
During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the storm destroyed 346,000 homes, killed 38 people, and caused $30 billion in damages in New Jersey alone.
On April 15, the day it opened to the public, the newly constructed cross-shaped pier was consecrated to God. It is possible that a Bible quote will be added to one of the benches on the pier in the future.
Michael Badger, president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist ministry that owns all the land and houses in the Ocean Grove neighborhood, said that the overwhelming majority of feedback on the shape of the pier has been positive; however, some complained.
According to Badger, the ratio of positive to negative feedback has been 80 to 1.
The Ocean Grove pier stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of a community that refused to be beaten down by tragedy. The cross-shaped pier may have drawn criticism from some, but those who see it as a symbol of faith and hope cannot be deterred. The pier is a reminder that even in the face of devastation, our faith can sustain us and inspire us to rebuild and create something beautiful out of the ruins. This community has proven that their faith is stronger than any storm, and that they will continue to draw strength from it.