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Local artist helping heal a church destroyed by March 2012 tornado


HAGER HILL, Ky. (WYMT) - A stroke of faith. A man's love for art helps heal the remaining scars left by the March 2012 tornado in Johnson County. Two people died there during the outbreak. Several homes and the Collista Freewill Baptist Church were destroyed. Now, a local artist is helping the church congregation get back a special piece of their sanctuary.

Nearly two years ago a tornado picked the church up off its foundation, tossed it in the road, destroying almost everything inside including the church's beloved mural.

Pastor Toby Johnson says, "The Lord is in all of it. We question some times things that happen, but we are not to question God because He knows all things."

The man who created the original...Floyd County artist, Mack Martin, is back in Johnson County painting a new scene for the church.

As the new church stands in the midst of ruble left behind, they say the mural is another symbol of this community healing and rebuilding.

Martin says, "I'm creating a whole new landscape with God's inspiration. It is like I get lost in the picture and I want it to be perfect and make it look as good as I can make it."

Creating a masterpiece, Martin does not rely on his years of experience and training. He relies on faith and before the first stroke of each day, he takes time to pray.

Martin says, "Every single time. I've learned that I have to do that. It doesn't matter how many murals I've painted...if God is not in it then it can't work."

The same faith Pastor Johnson says allowed his church to once again stand.


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