SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Sunday marked a day that members of Victory Baptist Church have been waiting on for quite some time: the opening of a brand new facility complete with a sanctuary, Sunday school rooms, a nursery and fellowship hall.
It's the first service in their brand new building that is now home to a congregation and its clergy.
"We've come through the tornado and it was a disaster," adds Johnny Hughes, pastor. "A lot of folks suffered a lot of heartache [and] a lot of hard times, but God has really blessed us through hardship."
Construction on a new facility for Victory Baptist Church got underway in September 2011, and for a church that has an active base of around 50 members they say without the community's help and without generous acts of kindness being poured in from across the country, the opening of the doors on this special day would not have been possible.
"We didn't have the land," adds Hughes. "When we got the land paid for, we were really waiting to see the Lord do something to make it possible for us to be able to build a building, and the tornado just opened that door for us."
With the church opening its doors for an open house revival, it's another step forward for the town's recovery.
"We're excited to see things happening here in Smithville," adds Hughes. "We've got different businesses that are startting to come back."
"You look in history, the cities and towns that went through the destruction that we experienced, and you see there is a blueprint of how to do it," added Smithville Mayor Gregg Kennedy. "There's a blueprint that they went through and it took time for them. It's just going to take time for us, but we are basically on track."
Of the five churches in Smithville only one, Smithville Baptist, remains under construction; however, they do hold Sunday service at a temporary location.