The destruction inside the fellowship hall at Fort Lawn Methodist Church took only minutes. How long the cleanup will take, no one knows.
"It's heartbreaking for members of this church to see this destruction," said the Rev. Karen Richmond.
She spent Monday trying to find and preserve anything salvageable.
"It's real sad because we found a photo album that goes back to the beginning of this church, 50, 70 years ago," she said.
That photo album was floating in waist-deep water Sunday night, along with church hymnals and a lot more.
"There were televisions floating around. There were freezers, refrigerators. Everything was floating around," said Fort Lawn Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Casey.
Casey said Church Street in Fort Lawn looked like a river, and water was shooting out of storm drains.
"It was just a mess," he said.
Eyewitness News was there Monday as members of the small church were carrying furniture out of the building and shoving sopping-wet pieces of carpet out the windows.
What started as several inches of heavy rain outside became several feet inside. A muddy debris line is clearly visible on the walls where the water finally stopped rising.
Church members said it's all the more disheartening because the whole floor was renovated only three years ago.
"The cabinets will have to go, and the refrigerator, the freezer, you know, just about everything," said long-time member Ellen Edwards Casey.
He said firefighters brought in a pump than ran at 400 gallons per minute, but it didn't make a dent in the floodwaters.
Much of what's inside will have to be tossed, including nursery room toys and chairs from children's classrooms. It's now been contaminated by floodwaters.
The church only had $3,000 worth of flood insurance. Not enough to cover this much damage.
Yet they're trying to look forward.
"We're just devastated, but God is good, and we'll get through it," Edwards said.
The fellowship hall, which sits below the level of the parking lot, has flooded before, but only with a small amount of water. Richmond said it's never happened this way, and she doesn't expect a quick solution.
"It's probably not going to be an easy fix," she said. "We'll work together with whoever we need to try and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Richmond said the church is contacting county and state stormwater officials to try to find out what can be done.