Church members who lost building to 2015 tornado prepare to rebuild

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A 2015 tornado that destroyed the Oasis Church in Garland the day after Christmas tested the faith of followers, but more than two-and-a-half years later; plans to rebuild are going through.

Pastor Barney Huie shared his vision Sunday, during with a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Oasis Church off Zion Rd. and I-30.

“We're here where we're supposed to be, we trust the Lord for his timing and so we're excited that the time has finally come,” he said.

Pastor Huie says it will be roughly 19,000 square feet and cost $8.8 million dollars.

"A big part of that square footage is going to be dedicated to ministering to our children. They have a large foyer commons area for fellowship and connecting and relationship building.”

Some church members like Marissa Semath say it was difficult to believe they would ever have another sanctuary they could call home.

"Just seeing that demolished, but now like it's bringing back hope and seeing it be rebuilt and the works.  It's just really exciting to be a part of it,” she said.

"You can now see it. And not only see it but feel it emotionally, that it's going to happen,” said church member Stephen Swamzy.

Church elder Earl Jones says it’s been a journey getting to this point.

"I think it's going to be bigger and better and we're able to kind of continue to serve the community and love on the people in Garland and in Rowlette."
"The church has always remained strong and intact.  We have great people, with a great leadership team. A good strong foundation, so we've weathered this transition really well,” said Pastor Huie.

Church officials say if they get the building permits from the city of Garland in the next few weeks, they hope to begin holding services by this time next year.