In June 2015, Church of Christ in Macon caught fire, destroying everything inside, but now the church is rebuilt. Nicole Butler spoke with church members about just how far the church has come.
Investigators believe someone intentionally started the fire in the back of the church, but after two years, Church of Christ has been built back up better than ever.
"I remember the horror of getting off I-75 and seeing just the calamity of the smoke from the damage of the church," interim pastor, Kwome Bloodworth says.
Two years ago, Church of Christ went up in flames. Only the brick remained intact.
Through the ash and rubble, Pastor Lillie Mae Powell got to work helping rebuild her church.
Her goal, "I want this church to be put back like it was," Powell said.
Bloodworth says Powell didn't care about the physical damage, determined to turn a tragedy into a blessing.
"She just didn't want the church to house our spiritual attributes, but she actually wanted the church to be a blessing to the community," he says.
From a baptism pool to new technology and even a children's area, all of the space is used in the church.
But Powell soon fell terminally ill.
"But by the grace of God, she would always pull through, and I believe wholeheartedly that her main ambition was to see this church completed," Bloodworth says.
Her granddaughter, Conya Hall, says 94-year-old Powell passed away last week, but after she got her to see the fruits of her labor.
"Seeing it finished was really the finale for her. It was her most-sought accomplishment, is to see this church be rebuilt so that she knows that her legacy lives on. It's not going to stop, it's not going to, because it was burned down, discontinue what she worked so hard for striving to win souls for God," Hall says.
Powell's funeral took place at noon Wednesday, but church members say it wasn't a sad event, it was a homecoming, sending her off to a better place.
Hall says even though a generation is gone, she's excited to see her grandmother's church family continue to grow.
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