Lady Lake church destroyed by tornadoes reopens
February 1, 2009|By Christine Show, Sentinel Staff Writer
It's been a grueling recovery for the communities whose lives and homes were torn apart when devastating tornadoes barreled through Lake County, killing 21 people.But today, on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the tragedy, the Lady Lake Church of God that was destroyed by the deadly twisters will serve as a symbol of resurgence. The congregation will hold a homecoming ceremony at 10:45 a.m. at the rebuilt church.
"Our coming home is a final part of closure for us," said the Rev. Larry Lynn, the church's pastor. "It's been one long day, and finally we get to rest at the end of that day." The church -- which had held services at a car dealership in Fruitland Park since the Feb. 2, 2007, storm -- attracted worldwide attention after the tornadoes slashed through parts of the county.They wreaked havoc on Lady Lake, where eight people died, and Lake Mack, the site of 13 deaths. "We were blown off the map," Lynn said. 'We got it behind us' But he and others affected by the tornadoes are focused on the future.
"We got it behind us," he said. "We're done with it, and we're here." The church has invited hundreds of people to today's ceremony. Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to give a video message to those in attendance.
Lynn said he is looking forward to preaching in the new sanctuary. "If it wasn't for the community's help and the help around the world, we couldn't have done it," he said.
On Monday's anniversary, Lynn is scheduled to give the invocation at a Lady Lake Town Commission meeting. There will be a moment of silence to remember the lives lost..."