MARTINSVILLE, Ind. – Just days left before Easter, one church in Martinsville is finalizing its plans after a tornado ripped the steeple off of the church leaving a hole in the sanctuary.
You can hear the boom of construction from blocks away and the dust has settled in the First Presbyterian Church
“I want to cry I really do,” said Reverend John Erickson.
“This past week has been a difficult week but strangely uplifting.
“One week ago, a tornado ripped through the town destroying the steeple that has been standing since 1881.
“I have heard until Christmas before we get back into the sanctuary,” said Erickson.
Erickson took Fox 59 through his church. Walking through, the damage is obvious. There is a hole in the roof, debris scattered on the floor, and rubble in the pews.
“We have been through a lot it is going to be a long road and a long process,” said Erickson. The congregation is forced to make changes, just days before Easter.
“I am trying to maintain as much normalcy as we can because we do not have a lot of abnormality going on right now,” said Erickson.
Sunday service will be held just a few rooms over which means they’ll be without a key part of the service.
“It’s going to be a little different because it’s a different worship space. We are so used to having our organ in our worship service and it is very important on Easter and we are not going to be able to have that,” said Erickson.
It’s a small congregation of about 80 but the little ones are stepping up to help.
“We walked out a couple days ago and when we saw it i immediately thought we should raise money for the church,” said Claire Hill.
The children have been selling baked goods for hours just down the street from the church.
“Give us a little hope and maybe we can all joint that hope and repair this destruction,” said Anderson Hartman.
“We really care about this church, and we really want it to have some help,” said Beckett Hartman.
Erickson says they will be back in the sanctuary. The children say they will also sell baked goods on Easter Sunday.