By PETER SAWYER
Five months after a fire destroyed its building to the ground, Fincastle Church of God continues to hold services in its fellowship hall and looks forward to completing the new facility.
“We are still working up here,” pastor Mike Smith said. “And still striving to get souls saved, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The fellowship hall was unharmed by the fire that consumed the church building in December.
While the absence of a regular church building hasn’t stopped the congregation from meeting for worship, Smith feels it may have temporarily slowed growth.
“Our church was growing,” Smith said.
Around 150 people were attending weekly services before the fire, Smith said. About 100 now attend the 5 p.m. services.
“All Sunday nights, it’s full,” Smith said.
Smith feels the limited space of the fellowship hall might keep interested visitors from coming. However, he believes the church will begin to grow when services are held in the new building.
“That’s what we’re hoping and praying for,” Smith said.
Contractor Jeff Moser began work on the church in February. Progress on the new building is being made, and Smith hopes the congregation can begin to meet there in the middle of July.
“Everything’s going to be real good,” he said. “We’re probably 80 percent complete at this point. We’ll be home free in a couple months. ”
The new building is 9,600 square feet, and has two floors.
The old church building burned Dec. 9. The Campbell County Sheriff’s Department and fire departments from across the county responded to the fire, which was later found to be a result of arson. The church was insured for the building and able to receive about $250,000 for damages. However, this wasn’t enough to fully cover the injury. The church had to apply for a $125,000 loan from Community Trust Bank in order to finish building the new facility, but has yet to receive the funds.
“We’re just waiting for them to approve the loan,” Smith said. “Besides that, everything’s going great, going wonderful.”