Wetumpka church opens new chapel 4 years after tornado

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:33 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:21 PM CST
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - A 201-year-old church is celebrating new beginnings four years after an EF2 tornado ripped through downtown Wetumpka.

First Baptist Church received damage to the chapel in 2019 that was irreparable, forcing them to start from scratch.

“In the wake of losing a new building and an old building, God’s brought something fresh out of it,” said Clint Landry, the church’s lead pastor.

The new building features a welcome desk, library, children’s play area and an auditorium for public meetings.

Landry mentioned some of the features from the old chapel were preserved, like the stained-glass windows and front doors from the old building that will be used as sliding doors.

Rebuilding took almost three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shortages in parts.

As he celebrates his new beginning, Landry is reminding survivors of recent tornadoes that their new beginnings are on the way.

“A better day will come,” Landry said. “God shows his gracious hand over and over and over again. He’s near to us in hardship and I just encourage you to lean into his grace.”

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