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Its building is not standing but the church is

A 71-year-old church is no more in Hagerhill, but its congregation is continuing to worship.

Collista Freewill Baptist is only one of the many buildings that could not withstand an EF-2 tornado nearly one month ago.

A tornado destroyed their building, but members of Collista Freewill Baptist will not let it take their church.

"The Lord has really blessed us. And although this happened, we're still a blessed person," said Pastor Toby Johnson.

The church was in the middle of remodeling putting in new ceilings and chandeliers.

"They had worked four days. Tuesday through Friday and then Friday night, of course, when the tornado hit," said Pastor Johnson.

Obviously this is not the final product they were hoping for but say good would not be without the bad.

For people passing by, it might just look like a pile of rubble. But for the pastor of this church, he says he sees hope and a new beginning.

"We know we'll have a church here someday that will be just as good or better than what we had, so we're forward to that and moving ahead," said Deacon Samuel Burke.

The congregation is sticking together but cannot wait to get back home.

Members of Collista Freewill Baptist currently hold Sunday services at Mountain Home Place in Staffordsville.


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