MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) – Easter Sunday comes as the first major holiday since the vaccine rollout began.
The day marks firsts for many congregations. Some are gathering together for the first time in a year. For others like New Tribe Church, it’s their first year celebrating at Charlie Daniels Park.
“Sunday morning at 3:30 I got the call, and when our eyes laid upon what happened on our worship center, a newly renovated building we had only been in for six months, our hearts were broken,” said Jarod Smith, lead Pastor of New Tribe Church in Mt. Juliet.
Early Sunday morning on March 28, heavy rain poured in, flooding the New Tribe Church. The knee-high water burst in, causing chairs to be carried towards the front of the building, smashing into windows and doors.
“We had 3 and a half feet of water rush through the entire building. Both the spaces combined, 15,000 square feet, equipment supplies, nursery, kids’ room, all of it gone,” described Smith.
2020 had already come with its struggles, but 2021 seems to have its own worries for some. On the day the storm hit, The Valley Center Mall on North Mt. Juliet Road was pounded with water, destroying nearly everything in its path.
On Easter Sunday, hundreds gathered at Charlie Daniel’s Park in Mt. Juliet, sitting in chairs and on blankets. Smith says seeing such a large crowd was a welcomed sign, after so much uncertainty.
“This has been the year of the pivot. I mean every time you take your stance, you have to pivot; you have to be flexible, but that’s what the church should be great at,” said Smith. “We had so many question marks, where are we going to meet, should we postpone, should we just do a live stream video, and I’m telling you this opportunity opened up out of nowhere.”
During Sunday’s service, Smith announced the church has found a temporary home at the Mt. Juliet Community Center. Right now, the church says it’s unclear how long repairs will take.
In a previous interview with News 2, Mt. Juliet Mayor James Maness said Global Vision Bible Church took up a collection Sunday morning and immediately raised $20,000 for New Tribe.