Local church rises from ashes

A Tri-State church has risen out of the ashes thanks to its members and the community.

You'll remember we told you earlier this summer how the Harmony Grove Baptist Church burned to the ground after it was struck by lightening June 13.

The church is located just East of Rutledge in Northeast Missouri.

Now just 4 months after the church was destroyed, members dedicated a new facility.

Days after fire claimed Harmony Grove Baptist Church, smoke still could be seen coming from hot embers. The church, built in 1870, has seen many sermons, births and weddings in its nearly 140 years. It even had at least one famous member -- Ella Ewing. You might remember her as the tallest woman in the world, standing eight feet, four and a half inches. She's buried nearby. When the thirty members of the church saw what a bolt of lightening did to their sanctuary, it was disheartening to say the least.

Church Member Ann Shaw said, "All that was standing was the West wall and it was so devastating to lose a building site and home church."

Meanwhile one member's tragedy became her legacy. Around the time of the fire, lifelong church member Janet Shaw learned she had cancer. Her only wish was to have this church rebuilt. Her children stepped in, spearheading the efforts to raise the church, while the community donated funds for construction.

Construction on the church began in August and was completed in two months and perhaps even more impressive, most of the work was done by church members here.

Shaw said, "It's almost like a dream come true. You have to pinch yourself to see it is really true."

Sadly church member Janet Shaw didn't live to see this church completed. She died shortly after construction began. But as members joined together to dedicate this building to the Lord's work, members also spent time remembering the woman who helped get the project off the ground in the first place.

In addition to the donations that made rebuilding possible, all pews inside the facility were donated by a congregation in Vista, Missouri.