LaFollete church members don't mind small worship center on Easter

7:31 PM, Mar 31, 2013   |    comments
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On December 9, 2012, fire officials said they believe an arsonist sparked a fire that destroyed Fincastle Church of God.

The church has spent the last four months rebuilding and just this weekend the roof was finally put on the new sanctuary.

On Easter, church members spent yet another Sunday worshipping inside a temporary building, but Fincastle Church of God members don't mind the venue change. They're just happy to be close.

Pastor Mike Smith has surprisingly enjoyed the past four months, "It's good we have adjusted to it, it's a little tight at times."

Though fire destroyed his sanctuary, and left damage totaling $400,000, he's found the bright side of the situation. 

Pastor Smith said, "What was destroyed was a tragedy to our church, but I have encouraged them ever since day one to not allow hatred or stuff like that in their heart because if we do that and allow that to happen then we are no better than the person who burnt the church."

It was a devastating day in December, but out of the ashes came a closeness no one imagined.

Church member, Pamela Jenkins, said, "With the church everybody was close to begin with, but once the fire happened and we moved to Fellowship Hall there is just a renewal of closeness."

"We're closer," said member, LaVonne Meade, "I mean we were closer in the heart in there but we are closer in here and I think we've been beautiful in here."

LaVonne Meade is a 20-year member of Fincastle Church of God. She said it hurts what happened here, but just like Pastor Smith, she's remained positive, "I think there is a reason behind everything and I just pray the one that set the fire will give their heart over to the Lord and be a member of our church. I'd like for them to be one of the first members."

A short walk from their temporary home, construction on the new sanctuary is in full swing. The roof added just this weekend.

Pastor Mike Smith said, "It's gonna be different. We've gotten so used to being so close in the Fellowship Hall. Being out here, it's gonna be different."

The future will be different, but the members at Fincastle Church of God won't forget the closeness they learned sitting side by side.

"It's different of course you expect to be in a big nice church on Easter morning," explained Pamela Jenkins, "But in here I don't think it's going to affect the way that we feel."

The church hopes to have the new sanctuary open by the end of June. There have been no arrests in connection with the fire.

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