"We're ready to break ground, officially, and come back to our little home on the corner." That's how Building Committee Chairperson, Jane Murray, expressed her feelings about the groundbreaking ceremony for the soon to be rebuilt West Liberty UMC.
As many know, the West Liberty United Methodist Church was destroyed by a tornado almost exactly two years to the day of the groundbreaking ceremony, but this past Saturday was not about looking back it was about celebrating the future. Dignitaries from throughout the conference and the city gathered to pay homage to the history of West Liberty UMC. Bishop Lindsey Davis, Prestonsburg District Superintendent Paul Fryman and West Liberty pastor, Rev. Jamie joined with West Liberty Mayor and church member Mark Walter to preside over the groundbreaking ceremony. Dozens of townspeople and church members prayed sang and looked to a renewed future at the corner of Main and Prestonsburg street. Church member Lori Keeton recounted that the ceremony marked not just a new beginning for her child "but for the other children of this church this is their future and their church".
Keeton also looked forward to the unwavering presence that their little church on the corner provided. Keeton remembered how the church motto had always been "There will be church", stating that until that Sunday following the tornado West Liberty had never canceled worship service.
Bishop Davis brought greetings from the conference and made sure that the people of West Liberty knew that "there are Methodists all over the state celebrating with you". After turning the soil, Pastor Brunk consecrated the cornerstone of the new church with oil.
Afterwards a small celebration was held at the West Liberty Municipal Center.