Amory church reopening after lightning strike sparks fire destroying steeple

Amory First Assembly of God set to open its renovated sanctuary after fire last year

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – It has been nine months since members of a Monroe County church have been able to worship in their sanctuary.

A lightning strike Easter week sparked a fire at Amory First Assembly of God. Since then, repairs and renovations have been ongoing, and church members and staff have been praying, working, and worshipping.

As workmen are laying tile in the foyer, Pastor Justin Myers is checking out the sound system in the sanctuary at Amory First Assembly of God.

The sanctuary was damaged the Wednesday night before Easter last year when a lightning strike to the steeple sparked a fire.

What started as repairs to the sanctuary turned into a renovation for most of the 14-year-old building.

And the sanctuary was enlarged to accommodate more people.

The first worship service in the larger space is set for January 29.

“Just incredible, the building doesn’t even look the same, and the lobby is brand new, we opened some things for a cafe, and we’re going to put some places out here for people to sit before service. That’s kind of our theme, we’re better together, we’re family, we want to set a tone for that atmosphere,” Pastor Myers said.

Since the fire, members have been meeting in the gym next door.

Pastor Justin Myers said the past nine months have been a lesson in faith, perseverance, and prayer for the entire church.

“This season, I remember saying, was a season on reset. I’m super excited for where God will take our church. This is a year I feel God spoke to me about certain things, holiness, being the church, being there for our community, loving them, being the hands and feet of Jesus,” Myers said.

Church Board Member Adam Minga said the congregation has become even closer since the fire.

“The whole year of 2022 was an experience, leading up to the fire, then after the fire, it’s like Pastor said, an opportunity to grow in your spiritual depth, in your walk with God, and to learn new things, experience new adventures and reach new people, be open to what God is going to do,” Minga said.

A large crowd is expected for that first service on January 29 as Amory First Assembly of God Church is reset and looking to the future.

Pastor Myers said the youth are especially excited because they will get their space back when the new and improved sanctuary is opened once again.

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