Limestone Co. church rebuilds after April tornadoes - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Limestone Co. church rebuilds after April tornadoes

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Bethel Church of Christ was one of the three churches destroyed in Limestone County. Bethel Church of Christ was one of the three churches destroyed in Limestone County.
Bethel Church of Christ destroyed in April 2011 tornado outbreak. Bethel Church of Christ destroyed in April 2011 tornado outbreak.
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ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

After taking a hard hit during the tornadoes nearly two years ago, an Athens church is now open in a new location.

Bethel Church of Christ was one of the three churches destroyed in Limestone County. It took a lot of time and fundraising, but they have a new, bigger and safer place to worship.

"It was just a pile of rubble basically when we showed up," said Pastor Jimmy Clark. 

He said when the EF-5 twister hit, it tossed the church's roof off and threw it back down.

The damage left more than 300 members of the congregation with nowhere to worship, but the damage didn't keep church members from having service.

"It was a transition time," Clark said.  "It was a tough time, but we stuck together." 

Members met in other churches until their building was complete.

One thing the church officials made sure the church had when it was rebuilt was a storm shelter.  It wasn't in the original blueprint for the building, but after the tornadoes, it was a must.  The shelter is underground and can hold up to 500 people.  

"It's like a vault or a safe room - a large safe room," Clark said.  "It's already been used; we've had a couple of storms come through." 

The church is also hosting a singing Saturday evening to remember the two year anniversary.  It's taking place from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. At least 500 people are expected to attend.

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