A symbol of hope: Nashville Catholic Church restores steeple after tornadoes

Posted at 2:45 AM, Dec 16, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Assumption Catholic Church's steeple was restored to its resting place Wednesday in Germantown after more than a year and a half of repairs from the March 2020 tornado, offering a symbol of hope following the mid-December tornadoes.

"The steeple was actually crooked when we came out, it was leaning to the south. And then if you remember, we had another storm event about a week later and that blew the steeple to the north. And at that point, it had to come down," explained Assumption Catholic Church's pastor Father Bede Price. "They took it down and it's been in storage basically, until today, and then now it's back up and it's really important for us because it's really an important symbol of the church."

There were other repairs needed at the historic church including busted stained glass windows, new roofs and other structural damages.

Price emphasized the focus of repairing the steeple, "The steeple exists to point to God to remind us, you know, God is in his heavens. And then really the purpose of a steeple is to support a cross. And the cross now is going back up over Germantown and so that for us is very important."

Assumption Catholic Church Priest Father Bede Price

The historic church was built in 1845 and has weathered storms before such as one in the 1940s that caused the steeple to come down for repair.

Irene Boyd was a parishioner at Church of the Assumption when the steeple was replaced the first time. Now a neighbor of the church living nearby in Germantown, she spoke about what it was like to see the damages when the sun rose after the March 2020 tornado.

"It was my first experience with something like that. And it's just was an astounding experience," said Boyd. "We were without electricity for about a week in our area of town. And it was about three months of getting things together just, you know, like in my house and a lot of people were even worse off than that."

Germantown Resident and Former Assumption Church Parishioner Irene Boyd

Nearly two years later, the church put the steeple back on the church after a blessing ceremony with the Diocese of Nashville's Bishop Mark Spalding Wednesday morning.

Dozens showed up from the neighborhood and the parish for the momentous event keeping in mind those who experienced even more devastating tornadoes a few days before.

"I have to admit when we had storm warnings last weekend, I could just feel the tremor inside of me like, ‘Oh, what if we have to go through this again?’ And then I've seen all that's gone on in Kentucky and Kingston Springs you know all of these places and just that how blessed I ended up being," said Boyd.

Dozens of members of the Assumption Church Parish and neighbors of the church in Germantown attended a blessing of the cross by the Diocese Bishop December 15, 2021.

"The storms in Kentucky were very traumatic for everyone and they brought back all kinds of memories for us," explained Price. "We are we're very fortunate and that our loss of life was considerably less. And in fact, in Germantown, there was no loss of life. And so our hearts, of course, go out to those who are suffering what we suffered and obviously our prayers as well."

Boyd said she hopes those trying to recover from tornado devastation will take help willingly.

"The neighborhood all came together. And there really were people who came from all over town to help," she recounted. "That whole reality of just watching the community come grateful for them for the neighbors be grateful for the help that's coming in."

Assumption Catholic Church's steeple and cross were restored to their resting place at the top of the church December 15, 2021, after a blessing from the Dioceses Bishop.

The Church of the Assumption still needs help raising funds to repair its historic church.

To donate, click here.

Assumption Catholic Church's steeple was restored to its resting place December 15, 2021, after more than a year and a half of repairs from the March 2020 tornado offering symbol of hope after the mid-December tornadoes.