Updated 9 months ago
The lives of people in Magoffin County were spared by the March 2nd tornado of 2012. But homes and buildings were demolished, including a Catholic church.
The Saint Luke Catholic Church of Salyersville can be counted as a victim of last year's EF-3 tornado. It died protecting lives hiding in the basement.
"Helen Pennington, who took shelter with 7 other people and a dog, in the basement of our church, called on her cell phone, and said, 'Father Bob, St. Luke is gone,'" remembers Father Bob Damron.
Father Bob Damron was thankful no one was hurt, but was heartbroken by the news. His church, right off the Mountain Parkway, was a Magoffin County landmark.
"People are always saying every time I came by St. Luke that little church was there and now when I drive by there's nothing there. Are you going to rebuild?" says Father Damron.
Now, Father Damron can confidently say yes, using the disaster as an opportunity, the members of the Saint Luke Catholic Church announced Sunday that they have planned for a $6,000 square foot building in the classrooms and a community food pantry.
Father Damron says they expect to have the new church in place by next year.
The new church will be funded in part by the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Lexington as well as private donations.