SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – After a stolen vehicle crashed into the New Elizabeth Missionary Baptist church around this time last year, the church has since been newly renovated undergoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.
The newly-remodeled church was revealed officially on Sunday.
“Once upon a time there was a Toyota Camry sitting right here where I’m standing, but it doesn’t look like it.,” says Pastor Danny Mitchell.
Police believe when the driver saw the police car, he panicked and hit the gas rather than the brake causing it to cross Jewella and crash into the front of the church on April 16.
Three occupants were inside of the vehicle, including the driver.
However, Mitchell says the car is symbolic of what comes into people’s lives.
“Wreck our lives and leaves carnage in our lives, God put us back together,” he says, adding the catastrophic event was “a visible manifestation of what God does in the spiritual realm in our lives.”
Churchgoers were excited to be back, and recalled the wreck that destroyed the pews, doors, carpet, and floors, and added a huge hole into the wall.
“It’s amazing, really amazing that’s all I can say because it looked bad; and to just see it redone, you can’t even tell what the damage was,” says Adell Stills.
Linda Johnson another churchgoer says she is thankful no one was inside.
“Because during that time, this whole sanctuary, the middle of the church was leveled. There was nothing standing. And now it’s back like it was in the beginning,” she says.
Mitchell says the destruction “knocked the wind” out of him.
“It didn’t sound good; it didn’t look good , You know it didn’t feel good, but God took all of the no good, and made it all good.”
The three teens have since been charged with several crimes, including theft of a motor vehicle, two are currently facing time, says Mitchell.