Dawson Springs parish continues service in makeshift backyard chapel after December storms

Dawson Springs parish continues service in makeshift backyard chapel after December storms
Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 8:03 PM CDT
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DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WFIE) - What may appear to be a regular backyard shed, has actually become a place of worship for people in Dawson Springs after the deadly December storms.

It all started with a couple named Rhonda and Donnie Mills, that just wanted to keep their church family alive.

Just the bare bones of Dawson Springs Resurrection Catholic Church are left after the tornadoes tore through it.

Across town is the Mills’ backyard shed. Donnie knew there could be a better use for it than just a home gym.

“We didn’t have damage from the tornado, but when we saw our church was damaged beyond use, he called me and said, ‘Would you consider having church in our building out back?’” Rhonda said.

Just over a week after the storm, the services in the “Mills Little Chapel” began.

“We’ve got to keep the heartbeat going,” said Donnie. “We knew if we didn’t have a place to go to church, that people would go to a lot of the neighboring towns and may not come back. I wanted to see if there was a passion to keep the church here, and there absolutely is.”

Their priest and deacon, most of the parish and people from neighboring counties followed them in the adventure.

“I think it’s drawn us closer as a church family just because we have this opportunity,” said Rhonda. “We’ve all gone through this together. We’re all trying to rebuild the church, we’re all trying to get the funding, whatever we have to do to build it back. I think it’s just making us closer.”

The community surrounding the Mills’ home has called their neighborhood “Catholic Hill” for years. Now that hill holds a makeshift Catholic church, until they can rebuild where their church once stood.

“If we don’t keep our church family together, as long as it’s going to take to rebuild, we won’t have a church family here,” said Rhonda. “That building was not our church. What we were sharing with each other in that moment was our church, and it’s continued.”

The parish plans to continue using the Mills’ shed until they rebuild their church.

They estimate it will take over a year.

If you would like to donate to help fund the rebuild of Resurrection Catholic Church, any donations can be sent to the following:

Resurrection Catholic Church

P.O. Box 279

Dawson Springs, KY 42408

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