GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s been nearly six months since the devastating wildfires in Gatlinburg. There have been countless stories of survivors rebuilding what was lost. One of those things was a church.
Roaring Fork Baptist Church burned down last November and now, volunteers from across the country are helping out.
With a slice of wood and swing to a nail, Pastor Kim McCroskey isn’t letting the elements stop him from rebuilding.
“It was never a thought to never do that,” said McCroskey.
He visits the work zone frequently, The walls were replacing ones so dear to him.
“It was like losing a family member,” he said.
For almost 10 years, McCroskey has been giving sermons at Roaring Fork Baptist Church. However, six months ago, a wildfire left only a shell behind.
“But the fact is, it’s a building. The church is the folks and they’re still here,” said McCroskey.
It was their faith with these volunteers that was helping a congregation rise from the ashes. Mike Quick is from Builders for Christ. It’s an organization bringing people from across the country to help rebuild. Quick is from Alabama. Since 1989, Quick has lent a helping hand to churches for one week at a time. This week, he was in Gatlinburg.
“We are supposed to serve as Christians and we serve in order for the christian faith to grow,” said Quick.
The first walls of the church were put up this week. McCroskey said he hopes the church will be done by Thanksgiving, almost one year after the wildfires. The church will open its doors to welcome more than 400 churchgoers. Along with the place for worship, there will also be a family life center.
“We could not have rebuilt both of our buildings without Builders for Christ. They are a God sent,” said McCroskey.
McCroskey said the church received a very generous donation from an anonymous donor who gave more than $400,000.
Builder for Christ said a young man decided to spend a day on his vacation to help out, too.