Four months after fire destroyed an East Tennessee church, members are finally seeing progress in time for Easter.
"Things are looking a lot better," Fincastle Church of God pastor Mike Smith talked about the construction on a new sanctuary on the LaFollette place of worship. In December 2012, an arsonist set the building on fire.
"It kind of bothers you a bit and reminds you a bit. I try not to focus on that because we believe the Lord will take care of it," the pastor added.
So far, most of the $400,000 price tag has been covered by insurance, but the church will still have to come up with $100,000 to pay for the rest.
Pastor Smith said other churches have helped out with the costs. He hopes to use some money to make sure a scene that he witnessed in 2012 does not happen again.
"We'll have security systems that will take care of any smoke, fire or break-in or anything like that so police will be warned of it. We'll be protected this next time round," he said.
As followers will fill the makeshift pews on Sunday at a nearby hall for Easter services, this leader wants to think less about the criminal responsible.
"Not allow this to get this to them and then get hard feelings toward whoever done it to the church because if we did that, then we're putting ourselves in the same shape the person's in."
Pastor Smith wants to think about the church's own "resurrection."
The Fincastle Church of God will hold two services on Easter Sunday.
- A gravesite service will be held approx. at 7:00 a.m. at Pal's Valley Cemetery, near the Fincastle Church of God on Old Middlesboro Hwy.
- A morning service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the church's fellowship hall, next to the sanctuary.
The church is still collecting donations to help with the $100,000 bill at the Community Trust Bank in Jacksboro.