Local bar transformed into church

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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - One Perry County church is just one week away from celebrating its first anniversary.

The music from this building hasn't always played hymns, in fact everything about the building was different.

The building was formally known as TJ's Hillbilly Palace Bar.

Just one year ago, Leaders from Gospel Light Baptist Church turned the bar into their new church home, and they say they couldn't have found a more fitting building.

“Like this building has been transformed, God changes people the same way and so I’m thankful that our church is in the old Hillbilly Palace. I'm thankful for that,” said Pastor Chris Fugate.

Within just one year, the church has seen nearly 400 people in attendance, and over 100 people baptized.

A construction worker, who helped flip the building, is one of them.

“So I told him I'd come on that first Sunday to see how everything went, and the lord spoke to me. I walked the isle and got saved that day, and baptized it was awesome,” said church member Christopher Joseph.

He says it was something he had never felt before.

“No church that I've ever worked in made me feel at home as much as this church does. Everybody here just loves everybody. It's awesome,” Joseph said.

The church will celebrate the anniversary next Sunday with a special service and lunch inside the building once known for liquor but now known for love.

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