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May 9, 2013

East Side Baptist opening new worship center by June

CULLMAN — Two years have passed since an EF-4 tornado tore through downtown, ravaging much of the area.

But, within the last year, many homes and businesses that were damaged are now back on their feet. In just a few weeks, another will be added to the list, as East Side Baptist Church opens the doors at its new location. A dedication service is scheduled for June 23 at 10:30 a.m.

“We’re super excited about what the Lord has done to get us to this point,” pastor Ken Allen said. “This will be a time to celebrate. It’s just one more sign that we’re healing as a community.”

With the widening of Highway 278 inching closer to becoming a reality, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) bought the property where East Side once stood. Because the project was going to take 40 feet of the property away, Allen said it was going to be almost impossible for them to rebuild on the same site. So, shortly after, the owners of Cullman Guns, Ammo, and Pawn Shop approached him about purchasing their piece of land that sits inside Sunset Drive at the corner of Convent Road. After reaching an agreement toward the beginning of 2012, construction began near the beginning of September. On Wednesday afternoon, workers were busy inside laying tile, and putting up crown molding.

“We’re in the last stages of getting things finished,” Allen said. “The process has been going along well. We can’t wait to get in.”

In addition to the dedication service in late June, Allen said the congregation is planning a family fun day the following weekend. An open house is scheduled for July 14 from 2-4 p.m.

* Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com

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