Sunday marked the groundbreaking for a new building at Ivy Bluff United Methodist Church.
The church was destroyed in October 2012 by arson. Ezra Marino was arrested and charged in the case following an investigation by the Cannon County Sheriff's Department and the state Bomb and Arson squad.
"The community has supported us well through our time of need,” said Bro. Neal Glass, Ivy Bluff pastor.
“We wish to thank everyone who has helped us with their prayers, gifts and assistance in reaching this point and we look forward to serving the area in the name of Jesus Christ through our new church building in the near future," Glass said.
"We are presently meeting at Woodland Baptist Church (next to the Woodland Elementary School). Bro. John Robinson and the congregation of Woodland Baptist has been gracious to welcome us to use their facilities since November of 2013, he said.
Prior to that the church was welcomed at Woodland Elementary School and Pocahontas Community Center for it’s Sunday 9:35 a.m. worship service, Sunday 6 p.m. Bible study, and Wednesday night 6 p.m. prayer meetings.
The original brick church building dated back to 1948 and had a sanctuary filled with detailed woodworking that had been crafted by church members when the structure was built.
Sunday's groundbreaking service was held at the church’s site at the corner of Ivy Bluff Road and Houston Parker Road.
Lay Leader Bobby Bogard welcomed special guest including the Rev. LeNoir Culbertson, Murfreesboro District Superintendent; Gary Nichols, building contractor; Scott St. John, engineer; Morris Mabry, architect; Brian Maffett and Gary Loftis of Maffett and Loftis Engineering; and Steve Lund, chairperson of the Murfreesboro District Board of Church Location and Building.
Leading the church building team was David Parker. Other team members include Joan Shirley, Lowell Duke, Mark Parker and Justin Nichols.