Pulaski Church of God continues moving forward one year after fire destroyed sanctuary

Plan is to finish construction on new sanctuary before 2019

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Wednesday marks one year since a fire ripped through Pulaski Church of God, destroying the nearly 100-year-old church's sanctuary.

Since then, the congregation has been focused on rising above the tragedy and rebuilding, as it moves forward with plans for a new sanctuary.

"I saw the glow immediately," said Pastor Tony Eads, the church's music pastor, as he reflected on the night the fire happened. "I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. Just devastation. My heart sank."

The lot where the sanctuary once stood is empty, as the church prepares to build a new sanctuary there.

"Hopefully, by July 1 we'll be moving dirt," said Pastor Donald Jones, the senior pastor at the church. Jones took over the rebuilding effort in October. He said the church's morale through this ordeal has remained high.

"I believe that the resiliency, the commitment, the dedication, the consecration, the faithfulness of the people, I believe it's going to rise out of the ashes and be even greater than before," Jones said.

Jones said the congregation hopes to finish construction in time for the church's 100-year anniversary in 2019.

"It's a tremendous loss that the church went through but they're trusting in God and believing that God has great things in store for them," Jones said.

The community is invited to a special "Rise" gathering at the church at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to celebrate what God continues to do within the congregation.

"It's a tragedy," said Pastor Jeramey Fleenor, the youth pastor at the church. "But also what happened doesn't define us. It's exciting. There's a lot of anticipation."

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