Wesley United Methodist Church reopens sanctuary months after EF2 tornado

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Putting on the finishing touches before the pews are filled Sunday with people of faith.

"We're incredibly excited, I know personally I'm a little nervous as well, it will be our first Sunday back in and we can't wait to show everyone what the space is," said Katie Roquet, Director of Media Ministries.

In March of 2017, this sanctuary at Wesley United Methodist Church looked a lot different.

An E-F 2 tornado tore off a big part of the roof, took out the chimney and destroyed the church organ.

"This past eight months, we've really seen our congregations grow together and through this process and really make the community of Wesley stronger," said Roquet.

The church has expanded the chapel, put in brand new carpeting and restored wood work that was done with pieces of wood from things destroyed in the tornado.

"We really tried to keep the integrity of the building and the historical value while at the same time bringing in some a few modern touches," said Roquet.

Insurance covered most of the cost but the church was able to raise $500,000 to help with repairs.

"When we started, we were on the apprehension of, can we do this, is this too much and we have seen the community and our congregation just step up," said Roquet.

Despite all of the changes one thing in the sanctuary never changed.

"That cross has been here this entire time, it survived the tornado, it survived the organ coming crashing down around it, it stayed there through the whole construction," said Roquet.

A symbol of faith, that the doors to this church would reopen, "I think we're gonna have a lot of different emotions happening on sunday," said Roquet.

One thing is still missing and that's the organ. Church leaders are working on getting a new one but that process could take three to four years.