Church rebuilds after 2009 tornado destruction - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Church rebuilds after 2009 tornado destruction

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

SALEM, AL (WTVM) -  On February 28, 2009 a tornado traveling through Salem, Alabama caused damage to several homes and destroyed one church on Highway 280. Sunday that church began the re-building process.

"Coming to see everything was devastating, but at the same time we were praising God because He gave us a blessing that nobody was here. No one was harmed even though damages were there," recalled Rev. Kendra Jacobs, pastor of Salem Chapel AME Church.

When we spoke to Rev. Jacobs the day after the tornado, her faith never faltered. She said, "It gives us time to re-coop. We know He has the power to bring us through this and we will be fine and we will come back strong."

And now, two and a half years later, her outlook after losing her church is still bright, "It's a momentous day. I've been smiling all morning long because the day is here. The new beginning is here and we can't wait to see the final product."

Her congregation gathered together Sunday to celebrate the new building that will soon replace their old church. After an afternoon of worship and praise, church members broke ground on their new home.

"They have been fantastic, supportive, anything anyone would ever want in a client," said the building's architect Clark Todd Gollotte.

Contractor Timothy J. Moore added, "We could say a lot now but I hope at the open house we have a lot more happy customers."

The congregation says the 2009 tornado may have torn down the walls of their church, but their faith was never shaken by the storm. Rev. Jacobs added, "Hopefully we'll continue to be a beacon of light in the Salem community."

Construction officially began two weeks ago and contractors expect the church will be complete in five to six months.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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