LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A pivotal moment today for a Limestone County church family. The Cherry Grove Missionary Baptist Church burned to the ground just more than a year ago. Efforts are now underway to rebuild what had been the centerstone of the community for more than a hundred years. And this morning, the first wall was raised.
It was January of last year. During the pre-dawn hours, firefighters rushed to the Cherry Grove Missionary Baptist Church in rural Limestone County. But there was nothing they could do. The hundred and ten year old building that had served generations in that community as both a church and at one time as a school, was gone. Pastor Chris Pirtle vowed even then the church would go on.
Fast forward a year and there's a new foundation where the old church stood. It's covered with volunteers from across Alabama, and even as far away as Kentucky. Each of these men paid a hundred-fifty dollars out of their own pocket for the privilege of helping to rebuild. And we had the privilege of watching the first wall go up.
"We try to find a church that needs our help, that wouldn't get their church built otherwise. They had the money to buy the materials but they needed the labor," says Emory Combs, of Carpenters for Christ.
The group does this every year in June. It's a mission of love. The money each man pays goes to help off-set his lodging and meals.
"What we do we do for the Lord and if someone happens to benefit from it then thats all good too," said Don Wall.
This group of volunteers will be here until June 14th. When they leave the church will be dried in and ready for the next crew to come in and do the sheet rock and the trim. And by the time they're all through, this community will once again have its church.
Many of the volunteers are from other churches the group has rebuilt in the past.