Construction begins on Knoxville church devastated by fire

Construction begins on Knoxville church devastated by fire

Construction begins on Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. Construction begins on Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville.

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It has been almost two years since a massive fire destroyed a large portion of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville.

Since that time, church members have been working hard rebuild the church.

Construction has begun, and members are excited to see their church come back to life. Workers have already built the large steel frame for the new building.

"It's like every time I drive by here I see something different being put up," said church member Jeffrey Riddle.

After the fire, a building committee was formed to get the project off the ground. A lot of planning went into making this new sanctuary special.

"It's going to be bigger," said church member Lee Jackson. "It will be in a different direction. The old sanctuary was in a north, south direction and this one is now in an east, west direction."

Drawings have been made to show what the new portion of the church will look like. They are hoping to be in the new sanctuary by 2013.

"We are probably about 16th of the way through," said Jackson. "We are not very far down the road. We are hoping to be finished by summer of next year.

"I'm excited," said Riddle. "I hope the whole church congregation is excited. On that day when we are able to break through those doors what a wonderful joy it will be."

Church members say going through this challenge has taught them a lot.

"It has tested our faith," said Jackson. "We have been blessed, so that probably every other Sunday we've had a person join. We've had continuous growth of membership during this time."

What makes the resurrection of this church even more special is when it is complete in 2013 it will be the 100th anniversary of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.

Services are still being held each Sunday in the gymnasium. That portion of the building was not damaged by the fire.

They did have insurance, which is paying for the new construction.

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