AURORA - A local church destroyed by Hurricane Irene is celebrating its new building almost 18 months later.
A dedication service will be held Saturday at Dublin Grove Church in Aurora in honor of the church's new building. The church's old sanctuary, which was 133 years old, was destroyed by Irene's flooding in August 2011.
"They took a back hoe and tore down the old structure," Harvey Brothers, Dublin Grove Deacon and longtime member, said. "I was out here when they did it and so were several other people. You've never seen so many tears."
The church cost around $300,000 dollars to rebuild, more than half of which was paid for with donations. Brothers said church members were originally unsure if rebuilding was possible since the church did not have insurance on the building.
"At first we were undecided whether to try it or not because there are only 60 members here and we don't have a lot of money."
The new building is larger than the old sanctuary, including new classrooms for Sunday school and a nursery for children.
While they move forward into the future, members of Dublin Grove won't forget the past. A time capsule embedded into the ground below the building's holds the names and ages of all 60 church members. Brothers said he hopes it can be a reminder of the group that rebuilt from Irene, if another storm ever takes the church again.
The dedication services takes place Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Around 200 guests are expected to attend, most of who donated to the church to make the new building possible.