Members of Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church are celebrating a new start after a tornado destroyed the Sparta church more than two years ago.
Now, members are counting their blessings as their new church opens its doors.
Church member Antee Lawson says she remembers the day the tornado hit. "I was so shocked I just had to cry it out," says Lawson.
It's a new beginning for the church; some thought they'd never see.
"I can go to other churches, but I don't feel like I feel when I come to Hickory Grove," says member Earnest Ingram.
A beautiful new modern sanctuary, now replaces the old 143 year old church.
Pastor Michael Curry says, "The structure of our building was totally destroyed. There was nothing salvageable."
Church members say it's been a tough journey rebuilding. The church struggled to raise the money for construction and when it finally did a construction worker tragically died when the roof collapsed.
"I remember thinking, 'Oh my God what more can we endure', but with God all things are possible," says church member Della Smith.
It's a lesson church members have learned over and over again.
Smith says, "He has lead us through all of the challenged that we've faced, and we have faced many challenges."
Pastor Curry says, "We just thank God that we are were we are now, and we are even better than we were before."
A dedication service will take place this Sunday, October 30 at 2:30pm.
The ceremony will be held in honor of the Tim Dixon, the construction worker who died,
and Johnny Frank, a church member who was killed in the tornado.