People in McIntosh County say it feels like the church had always been there. Christ’s Chapel, known by most as “The Smallest Church in America,” is more than a tiny house of worship. It is a landmark and a part of the community, set back off U.S. Highway 17 north of the Eulonia settlement in northern McIntosh County. When a vandal burned the church to the ground in November 2015, there was never any question about whether or not it would be rebuilt, said Sam Clark, a McIntosh County resident and caretaker of the church. “This place means a lot to people,” Clark said last weekend as he stood outside the newly rebuilt church before a rededication ceremony. “All kind of people stop by here. Some people are just traveling through, and some people have been here their whole lives.” It took 18 months and countless volunteer hours to resurrect The Smallest Church in America, which was built in 1949 by the late Agnes Harper. Most of the building materials were donated, and what could be salvaged from the original structure was also used. Although it took time to rebuild, Clark said he was pleased the rededication came in time for Easter Sunday. “We were shooting to have it open the weekend before Easter, and I’m happy to see everybody turn out for this,” Clark said of the re-dedication. More than 30 people came to last Saturday’s ceremony, some, like Beverly Taylor, from as far away as North Carolina. Taylor was raised in Brunswick, but moved away in 1980, she said. “My dad used to bring me here when I was a teen,” she said. “I’ve raised four kids now, myself, and I used to bring them, too. This is a place of holiness, and we’re blessed that it’s here.” When a friend called to tell her the chapel had burned, Taylor said the news was “devastating.” “I was very upset,” she said. “But life has a way of opening up for rebirth, and that’s what’s happened here.” Brenda Rogers, a lifelong resident of McIntosh County, felt the same way last Saturday as she stood outside the small church, admiring its new construction and heart-pine rafters. “It’s a place to come and visit, and relax,” she said. “It’s peaceful here. It may have been destroyed, but it’s risen again.” During the rededication ceremony, the Rev. John Maki of Darien, a pastor who tends to the chapel, said the nondenominational church may be a landmark, but it is more than a building. “It doesn’t matter who you are when you’re here,” the pastor said as he prayed for the church and community. “When you’re here, you’re in God’s house.” Another pastor, the Rev. Ronnie Stevens of Kingdom Church of Christ in Darien, also spoke at the rededication, and presented Maki with a shepherd’s staff inscribed with Biblical phrases and Christian insignias. As Stevens presented the staff, the two pastors — along with Maki’s wife, Barbara King — grasped the wood-carved memento as Stevens anointed it with oil. “May this be a symbol of your guidance, and a reminder that you are the leader of a flock,” Stevens said to Maki as he prayed. After the short ceremony ended, the dozens of people who came took photos of the church and milled about exchanging their stories of how they found the church, and what it meant to them. Patrick Young, a second-generation caretaker of the chapel, stood not far from the entrance as another man asked him, “Who owns this place?” Without hesitation, Young looked at the man and said, “Nobody owns it. Jesus Christ owns it. We just take care of it.”

People in McIntosh County say it feels like the church had always been there.

Christ’s Chapel, known by most as “The Smallest Church in America,” is more than a tiny house of worship. It is a landmark and a part of the community, set back off U.S. Highway 17 north of the Eulonia settlement in northern McIntosh County.

When a vandal burned the church to the ground in November 2015, there was never any question about whether or not it would be rebuilt, said Sam Clark, a McIntosh County resident and caretaker of the church.

“This place means a lot to people,” Clark said last weekend as he stood outside the newly rebuilt church before a re-dedication ceremony. “All kind of people stop by here. Some people are just traveling through, and some people have been here their whole lives.”

It took 18 months and countless volunteer hours to resurrect The Smallest Church in America, which was built in 1949 by the late Agnes Harper. Most of the building materials were donated, and what could be salvaged from the original structure was also used.

Although it took time to rebuild, Clark said he was pleased the re-dedication came in time for Easter Sunday.

“We were shooting to have it open the weekend before Easter, and I’m happy to see everybody turn out for this,” Clark said of the re-dedication.

More than 30 people came to last Saturday’s ceremony, some, like Beverly Taylor, from as far away as North Carolina. Taylor was raised in Brunswick, but moved away in 1980, she said.

“My dad used to bring me here when I was a teen,” she said. “I’ve raised four kids now, myself, and I used to bring them, too. This is a place of holiness, and we’re blessed that it’s here.”

When a friend called to tell her the chapel had burned, Taylor said the news was “devastating.”

“I was very upset,” she said. “But life has a way of opening up for rebirth, and that’s what’s happened here.”

Brenda Rogers, a lifelong resident of McIntosh County, felt the same way last Saturday as she stood outside the small church, admiring its new construction and heart-pine rafters.

“It’s a place to come and visit, and relax,” she said. “It’s peaceful here. It may have been destroyed, but it’s risen again.”

During the re-dedication ceremony, the Rev. John Maki of Darien, a pastor who tends to the chapel, said the nondenominational church may be a landmark, but it is more than a building.

“It doesn’t matter who you are when you’re here,” the pastor said as he prayed for the church and community. “When you’re here, you’re in God’s house.”

Another pastor, the Rev. Ronnie Stevens of Kingdom Church of Christ in Darien, also spoke at the re-dedication, and presented Maki with a shepherd’s staff inscribed with Biblical phrases and Christian insignias.

As Stevens presented the staff, the two pastors — along with Maki’s wife, Barbara King — grasped the wood-carved momento as Stevens anointed it with oil.

“May this be a symbol of your guidance, and a reminder that you are the leader of a flock,” Stevens said to Maki as he prayed.

After the short ceremony ended, the dozens of people who came took photos of the church and milled about exchanging their stories of how they found the church, and what it meant to them.

Patrick Young, a second-generation caretaker of the chapel, stood not far from the entrance as another man asked him, “Who owns this place?”

Without hesitation, Young looked at the man and said, “Nobody owns it. Jesus Christ owns it. We just take care of it.”

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