SMITHVILLE – After fire ripped through the 80-year-old Presbyterian Church in the Town of Smithville more than two years ago, the rural, tight-knit community has reason to celebrate now that its two-year endeavor to build anew has finally come to pass.
Members of the First Presbyterian Church hosted a community open house celebration to show off the newly constructed building on Saturday. It has been a years-long process but well worth it in the end, say members, as community ties have grown even stronger and the congregation has shown they can literally rise from the ashes.
“I think this is really remarkable,” said long-time church member Marie Kehl, recalling the devastation faced by the congregation when the church was leveled in August, 2010. “It’s been a long two years, but we’re really happy that we’re finally here. And we’re very blessed that we have community support,” she added. “We’ve always been a church but now, we have a home.”