Meadows of Dan church rebuilding two years after fire

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MEADOWS OF DAN (WSLS 10) - A Patrick County church broke ground on a new sanctuary nearly two years after a devastating fire destroyed its iconic building.

The cloud in the air at Meadows of Dan Baptist Church is not smoke, the way it was two years ago.

"Seeing the excitement of the members has just been wonderful," said Pastor Shawn Carter.

This is the dust and dirt of progress. Feet are no longer treading through the rubble, but instead are carefully pacing out new foundations.

"To think that we're actually breaking ground and getting ready to start is a lot of excitement," said Sharon Kimble, who's been a member of the church for 44 years.

The church, established in 1855, was destroyed March 5, 2015, in a fire that left behind little more than a communion set and generations of memories.

"It was heartbreaking. I grew up in this church. I raised my children in this church and my grandchildren. My parents were married in this church. I was married in this church. We did my father's funeral here," said Kimble.

But the spirit of the church remained untarnished.

"We said the moment it happened, we knew the church was in our heart," said Carter.

It was in the hearts not only of its members, but of an entire community.

"When you come off the parkway, people have commented when you see the steeple, you know you're in Meadows of Dan. If you're coming down the bypass back behind the church, you can also see the steeple. On my way home from work, it was always very comforting," said Kimble.

Now, earth is moving to make room for a new building and a new steeple that will embody that old, undying identity.

"I think that's what church is about; bringing hope into the community in many different ways," said Carter.

The plan is that by the fall of 2018, the ground hallowed to this quiet community will be home once again.