KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Gold shovels hit the dirt at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, breaking ground on what will soon be a new sanctuary.
"Today is a great day and it's a day we've been anxiously awaiting for 17 months," said Linda Milan, a member of the church.
Young members placed rocks from the ground into a gold can as a keepsake to remember where it all started.
"It's like an alarm. God is setting off an alarm to do something new in the community. We accept that challenge from him by faith and this is just the beginning of it," explained Reverend Leroy Franklin, from Mt. Calvary.
The church's original sanctuary went up in flames in December 2010, destroying the sanctuary. The steeple survived the fire along with a cross. The church is hoping to implement it in their new sanctuary.
The new designs for the sanctuary are a more modern vision than the last.
"It's going to be expandable. It's going to be more energy efficient. We have more safety features like a fully-sprinklered auditorium," said Lisa Hoskins, an architect with Brewer Ingram Fuller Architects.
The design is catering toward the next generation of church-goers.
"All of the modern things that you see like screens that can project, record, television and whatever we want to do we can do it there. It was something we were preparing to do before the fire that we will incorporate in this new building," Reverend Franklin said.
Work will start on the new sanctuary sometime next week. Construction is estimated to take about a year to complete.