Congregation celebrates rebuild 1 year after tornado destroyed their church


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — On a weekend when Christians celebrate the resurrection, a Christian congregation in Chesapeake is celebrating a rebuilding.

A year ago today, a tornado wiped out Real Life Christian Church, but now they are celebrating the rebirth of their house of worship. 

Members of the church gathered at the site where the EF-2 tornado hit and sang songs of worship. 

A year later, they can see evidence of a new building, the rebirth of their church. 

Their pastor says not to be misled by the new walls, the steel girders, the piles of construction supplies. He says you don’t need to have a church to be a church.

“It’s been a real refining process to help us remember that the church isn’t a building, but the church is God’s people doing God’s work,” said Pastor Drew Froese. 

Froese was actually interviewing for the pastor position the weekend the tornado hit.

He tells 10 On Your Side when he saw how church members maintained their outreach in the community — helping others hit by the tornado despite their own loss — he knew Real Life Christian Church was special.

A member of the church, Mitchell Pratt, reflects of the past year after the loss, “It definitely has brought us together, stronger in the church, stronger bonds, it definitely has brought us together.”

The Real Life Christian congregation hopes to be in their new church by the end of this year.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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