SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Church-goers stood and watched as their place of worship went up in flames a year ago.
Today, members of the congregation are celebrating and looking toward the future more than ever.
On Feb. 13, 2012, fire ripped through Mill Run United Methodist Church in Springfield Township, Fayette County.
The intense flames and thick smoke destroyed the building, but not the faith of the congregation.
A charred Bible was pulled from the ashes and has served as a sign of hope.
Five years of renovations had just been completed on the church, but even on that difficult day, Pastor Randy Newell, stayed positive and promised to rebuild the house of worship.
Now, just over a year later, Newell is making good on that promise.
Ground was officially broken on the new Mill Run United Methodist Church Sunday morning.
“One of the neatest things is, we had planned on doing this on the anniversary and that didn’t work out, but today is perfect. It is the first Sunday of Lent. Lent is a time for preparation and celebration for resurrection,” Newell said.
It’s a new beginning for the church members who have been waiting a long time to rebuild.
The new building will go up on the same land where the original church once stood in the 700-block of Mill Run Road.
“Our desire is to have the building completed, be debt free and be in it sometime in November. If it’s before that so be it, but we are giving ourselves enough cushion that we are figuring we will hold Thanksgiving service within the new church building,” Newell said.