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Despite arsonist, LaFollette church starts anew

11:08 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
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  • Fincastle Church of God will hold a dedication service in the new building on Saturday.
  • Fincastle Church of God after a fire destroyed the church on December 9, 2012.

(WBIR-LaFollette) Members of a Campbell County church are ready for a new chapter, after a fire destroyed their church in December.

Investigators ruled the fire as arson.

More than seven months later, Fincastle Church of God will hold a dedication service in its new building on Saturday.

"It's a joy, joy to see it because there has been so much work put into it," Fincastle Church of God Pastor Mike Smith said.

The church is 20 ft. longer and 20 ft. wider than its previous building. It's also able to seat 235 people in the sanctuary, versus the 150 from before.

A surviving Bible and table from the fire will be on display in the foyer.

"There's a lot of stuff that was burned up besides the building, a lot of memories, a lot of stuff we had that can never be replaced. And now we're putting new stuff in and we're starting new," Pastor Smith said.

The church had been using the Fellowship Hall for services.

"We've actually gotten closer together and we haven't lost anyone through all this tragedy," said Bill Vance, a church member.

On Wednesday, John Scates with J.S. Audio put the finishing touches to the new sound system.

"Several days I've been here. There's always people coming through, church members and community members. They want to see how everything is progressing and it is very exciting," Scates said.

Fincastle Church of God will hold a dedication service, open to the public, at the church on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Pastor Smith said insurance covered $260,000 worth of damages; the church still owes the bank $170,000. Donations can be made to the church through First Community Trust Bank in LaFollette.

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