NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While communities across the state are recovering from the 15 tornadoes that devastated our area, others are still recovering from the March 2020 tornado.

Wednesday, a milestone was reached in the recovery process in Germantown as the historic Church of the Assumption replaced the steeple damaged nearly two years ago.

“When the tornado hit it really lifted the whole upper structure, the roof of the church and then dropped it back down and when it dropped it back down it greatly dis-stabilized the building itself, so we’ve almost had to recreate the building,” explained Bishop J. Mark Spalding.

As the bells struck 11 Wednesday morning, echoing through the streets of Germantown from the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption, a day in history was marked. The spectacle drew neighbors of all ages.

“It’s going to be a strong symbol for all of the city to see,” stated the Bishop. 

After the steeple was lifted, Bishop Spalding blessed the seven-foot cross, the original from the 1800’s, placing the first class bone relic of St. Roch inside.

“We are lifting high the cross and the cross is always a sign for us as Christians, as a symbol of hope and we hope that even in the midst of Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois and Arkansas, wherever there’s been devastation in recent days, that they can find hope in these kind of moments,” said Spalding. 

Not only hope, but reaffirming the community’s resilience, serving as a milestone in recovery efforts.

“I think it’s important for the community, obviously a historic centerpiece for the community and for the community at large that goes to church here. It’s a milestone; we are making progress,”  said Mark Barry, who lives in the neighborhood.

This isn’t the first time the church has sat without a steeple. The original from the 1800s was destroyed in a storm in the 1940s. Today, the steeple is the same one placed atop the church in the 1980s. With or without its centerpiece, the church has served as a beacon of light for generations, through wars, economic hardships and disasters.

“Yes, we have to grieve; we have to mourn the passing of loved ones and to restart again, but we are the people of faith, hope and love and we can do this together.”

The church has been meeting in neighboring buildings since the tornado came through. They hope to reopen the building for its congregation in January of 2023 as they take this as an opportunity to not only repair the damaged structure, but revitalize it.