EAST NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Building a solid house of faith is the foundation for East End United Methodist Church.

Pastor Scott Marshall-Kimball knew the challenges facing him after seeing the 115-year-old house of worship on Holly Street in East Nashville was broken by the March 3rd tornado outbreak of 2020.

“We really, really wanted to save the building. The sanctuary has been such a place of meaning for so many people that we really focused our efforts on that,” says Marshall-Kimball.

Engineers attempted to stabilize the building while the congregation held out hope that the cornerstone of the neighborhood would remain.

“Unfortunately, as the year went on and as we got more reports from engineers, and more pricing for contractors, and reports from the architects it just became more and more evident that the structure was just too unstable to be able to save it,” explains Marshall-Kimball.

The Historic Planning Commission approved the demolition of the church which Marshall-Kimball says was a hard decision for everyone involved.

“There’s a lot of collective grief, but there’s also a lot of collective hope.”

Hope, he says, the beacon on the hill will continue to be a church home where everyone feels welcome.

“The new building that we’re hoping to propose soon will look strikingly similar especially with the front façade of the church, the large staircase, the big stain glass window that got blown out. We’re going to try to salvage as much as we can.”

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It’s unclear when demolition will begin.