One year after destructive fire, Westport Presbyterian Church celebrates plans to rebuild

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The rebuilding of a Westport church destroyed by fire hopes to get a boost this weekend on the one year anniversary of a fire that destroyed most of the historic church.

The Dec. 29, 2011 fire caused more than $6 million in damage.

RELATED |  A look inside the church after the fire

Ninety members of the Westport Presbyterian congregation just found out the stone walls outside of the 1904 portion of the building will be restored. Several other parts of the building will be demolished to make way for new. The insides will also be gutted and an elevator, handicapped accessible bathrooms and additional meeting space will be added.  

More than 150 Westport residents have weighed in on what they'd like the church to look like in two years, once construction is complete.

The entire design plan will be released in a breakfast meeting on Sunday.

Last December 29, flames ripped apart the historic Westport Presbyterian Church.

The building is a staple in Westport. Built in the early 1900s, it has been home to thousands of weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Rev. Scott Myers will never forget those horrific moments, when he and his congregation stood in the parking lot and wept as their beloved church crackled in the flames.

"It was just extreme trauma," Myers said. "A lot of love went out of and stills goes out of this building. What I felt personally that day watching this church burn down was just grief. For all of us I call it a steep and rocky climb but we can see a little bit more blue sky now."

Myers estimates it will take two years to rebuild the church.

The congregation will unite Saturday in a candlelight vigil in the church parking lot at 5 p.m., the exact time and date that the church burst in flames last year.

Myers says the vigil is important to realize how far the Westport Community has come in the past year and thank them for their support.

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