It was a bittersweet dinner on Sunday for many, as the members of the St. John’s Parish in Benwood came together for their 140th anniversary celebration.
The church was destroyed by a massive fire back in late March, and now they’re holding fundraisers to collect money to help rebuild.
Hundreds of members attended the dinner honoring the historical church including the Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Bishop Michael Bransfield. The celebration included speakers, an orchestra, and some historical replicas salvaged from the fire.
7News spoke with some members of the church, one member in particular, Carmella, has had six generations in her family attend St. John’s.
“I was born and raised in Benwood. I’ve been a member of St John’s Church my whole life. I am the sixth generation to go through St. John’s church. Good memories, a lot of hard work from a lot of volunteers, but that’s what we are we’re workers. And our parish motto, faith strong as steel rich as coal, speaks for itself,” said Szymialis.
Bishop Michael Bransfield has promised the parishioners that a new church will be built. Members seemed hopeful tonight that their church will begin rebuilding soon.