Wetumpka church counts down days until old bell raised

Wetumpka church counts down days until old bell raised

WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - The rebuild. The rebound. The rebirth.

“Yeah.. getting very excited.. couple of weeks,” said First Presbyterian Church Pastor Jonathan Yarboro.

The anticipation is growing for pastor Yarboro, the excitement of seeing the church bell placed back on its rightful perch, one year after the tornado threw it on the ground.

“Every day is so encouraging. Prior to the tornado, I was only 1 of 5 people living that had ever laid eyes on it. It sat way up in the steeple. You had to climb rickety ladders to get to it. Everybody knew it was there but nobody had really seen it," said Yarboro.

The bell is in southern Louisiana right now, more than 400 miles away getting refurbished, prepped and outfitted in a carriage to fit inside.

This isn’t just any church bell, but one that stretches back in American history. It’s history coming back home.

“We have historical documentation that survived when the bell was offered to the Confederacy for melting down for munitions, so the bell really tells the story of the church all the way back to 1857,” he said.

The bell weighs around 600 pounds and putting it back in the bell tower in about two weeks will be an all-day affair.

“Sort of makes it feel like this is really happening,” said the pastor.

The new church is on schedule to be completed by August, and with it the iconic church bell will ring in a new era for First Presbyterian.

Yarboro says they plan to have a formal dedication of the new church by mid-September.

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