Construction begins on church destroyed by 2020 tornadoes

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Only one foundation remained at a church east of Nashville after crews demolished the building.

The East End United Methodist Church was destroyed after the 2020 tornadoes swept through central Tennessee.

In June, the church began the demolition process after removing pews and other sentimental ideas to reuse for their next building.

Sean Anderson, who lives behind the church, has been at the forefront of the church’s transformation.

“We sat here on the porch, and we got a doorbell, so we could watch her come down,” Anderson said. “It was a meticulous process and the guy with the big digger, but he took it and very carefully peeled off the bricks, wood and stone as best he could to save it. It was neat to watch him go down.

Pastor Scott Marshall-Kimball said the church is over 100 years old and has been loved by the community ever since.

He documented the entire demolition using a drone. The initial goal of Church leaders was to want to keep the original structure, but they couldn’t because the damage from the 2020 tornado was too severe.

“There was a lot of ornamental brick around the building that you really can’t recreate anymore, that people cut out of the building and store for reuse, and stones. Really anything we could take at this prohibitive cost that we felt was really worth bringing into the new building,” said Pastor Marshall-Kimball, pastor of East End United Methodist Church.

Another treasured piece of the church is on Anderson’s porch.

“I ran over there and waved my hand and told the guys to hold on, we have to save Moses”

He wanted to save the concrete Moses. The church board allowed him to

“I said I would be more than happy to host Moses on the porch and have Moses watch the rebuilding of the new church and we’ll take him back across the street. 6:26:14

Pastor Kimball-Marshall says this church is truly embraced by the community and excited about what is to come.

“We can continue to move forward with hope and that’s what I think. What I hope is that this congregation will move forward after this period. And that’s a message that I think they’ll have for our community as we move forward into the next century at the top of the hill here,” Marshall-Kimball said.

If construction is on schedule, the church will reopen at Christmas 2023.

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