CONWAY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A Conway church is coming back from a tornado just over two years ago.

Plans are up and running to rebuild the church destroyed in 2017.

Damage from the 2017 tornado caused the United Congregational Church in Conway to be torn down.

The land on which the church once sat is not even with the road, making the rebuilding process difficult.

It's been a long and difficult recovery for the church, but rebuilding plans are finally underway.

"Eureka, Hallelujah," said church member Muriel Antes.

Rev. Candi Ashenden added, "I've been being asked for two years 'When is it gonna happen? What's it going to look like?'"

That day is finally here. The new design plans have been agreed upon within the congregation.

Ashenden told Western Mass News that the problem came from the land that the church once sat on, which caused a long delay in the designing process.

"The real struggle was really having a street presence and that's presented by the site. It's a two-level site and we don't have enough money to build a two-story fully functioning building," Ashenden said.

The new million dollar building is going to have church seating for 40 people, a small kitchen so the church can continue making meals for the community, and a mechanical room and storage.

Meanwhile, the congregation has been meeting in the Conway Grammar School library, but they are excited to have a new permanent place they can rely on.

"I know, in reality, the church is the people. However, I think we need a place, a place to go when maybe it's a bad day and you need to go to a place to worship," Antes added.

The tornado seemed to destroyed everything at the church, but the Western Mass News SkyDrone found something that survived the storm. A mural made by three kids in the summer of 2014 was found perfectly intact on the demolition site.

The church is hoping to save it during the rebuilding process.

As for the new church construction plans, "we're hoping to break ground in the spring, March of 2020," Ashenden said.

If all goes well, the church is hoping to have services ready for Christmas 2020.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.