Restoration and reconstruction of the historic Camp Johnson Chapel has begun after it sustained significant wind and water damage during Hurricane Florence in September of 2018.

Built in 1941 just a month after Camp Geiger was constructed, the chapel has served as a place for worship and ceremonies for Marines stationed on Camp Johnson and Camp Geiger.

“When I saw what had happened to our chapel I sat down and cried” said Sharon Anderson, chapel coordinator of events and former Navy corpsman. “So much history has been made here and it serves such a good purpose because the Marines love the chapel.”

The wind from the storm caused significant damage to the roof, tearing off shingles and exposing the original wood foundation. The water from the storm soaked through original wood causing ceilings to cave in on top of offices and the main worship area.

“The chapel is such an important place for the Marines, especially during times of stress such as being in training environments,” said Navy Lt. Matthew Brackett, a chaplain for Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools, Camp Johnson. “This is a place that they can go to know that someone cares about them as a person and understands what they need spiritually and can help guide them through internal struggles that the military lifestyle can present to them.”

Services and events for Marines who attend services at the Camp Johnson Chapel have been relocated to the Midway Park Chapel in Midway Park, until the preservation of the historical chapel is complete. The expected timeframe for completion is in the summer of 2020.