CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Demolition work on a church in north Charlotte might look like the end, but it is actually a new beginning for the congregation.
"It is bitter sweet," said Assistant Pastor Health Spivey, as he stood next to a growing pile of debris from the old Harbor Baptist Church on Old Concord Road Friday night.
The demolition is finally beginning five years after an electrical fire roared through the church -- which had been built back in the 1950's.
After the fire, the insurance company wanted to pay about $750,000, claiming the building could be repaired.
The church wanted $3.1 million to tear down and completely rebuild.
The standoff eventually went to court while church members were all but sanctuary-less.
The congregation began using another building that was designed as a gym but it never really worked out for them.
"We didn't have the room to minister to our young people. We bring in between 400 and 500 children each week and the building is not sufficient," Spivey said.
Demolition of the old church finally did begin this week after the church and the insurance company reached an out of court settlement.
Details are not public but the amount is said to be less than the church wanted but more then the insurance company was at first willing to pay.
Church leader Rob Farrington said, "God willing, our plan is to be able to have another church facility for our congregation."
Details still to be worked out include where any new church would go. It is not clear if it could be build on the current property or if there would be a new location.