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Community volunteers help Morgan County church recover from vandalism

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Earlier in October, WAAY 31 showed an inside look at the aftermath of vandalism at a church in Somerville. On Saturday, WAAY 31 returned as a community workday was held to clean up and repair the damage at St. John's Missionary Baptist Church.

In two weeks, the church looks completely different than when WAAY 31 first visited. The progress is largely because of the support from the community.

While the community and members of the church are still upset over what happened, a deacon for the church, Amos Burton, said the vandalism was actually a blessing in disguise for them.

"The first day I saw it, I was pretty much in tears, I couldn’t even walk in," said Burton.

Burton and members of the church are still in shock over what happened, but they said they're grateful for everyone who has supported them since.

Linda Rodgers was one of many who felt called to help.

“I said, ‘Let’s pray, let’s pray for them,’ but I also said, ‘Let’s also pray that God would show us how we can serve them,'" she explained.

Rodgers wasn't alone. She and her husband, along with 10 members of their church, traveled from Cullman County to lend a helping hand.

“It’s really a blessing to get to meet these people, to get to know them and to — just to be God’s hands and feet," said Rodgers.

Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett organized the community workday, making sure there were volunteers to paint, clean and work on landscaping around the church.

It “feels like I’m in a different scene, different area," Burton said. "It’s just that much different."

Burton said he appreciates what people have done so far. He said through the devastation came something beautiful, and that is what he says Christianity is all about.

“We can now see the end of the rainbow," Burton said. "We can now see closure at the end of the rainbow because of people like this and him, and all the churches and all the donors, and just the whole country."

There's still some cosmetic work that needs to be done. Puckett said his goal is to make this church even better than it was before the vandalism happened.

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