JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) A Joplin congregation whose church was destroyed in the May 2011 tornado is holding its first in-house worship service since the tornado.

The Joplin Globe reports ( ) that members of the newly rebuilt Harmony Heights Baptist church are preparing to open their doors Sunday for their first service at their new church.

Their former church was destroyed in the EF5 tornado that hit Joplin last year killing 161 people and wiping out a broad swath of Joplin. The tornado also destroyed the congregation’s church and killed three church members. Harmony Heights held services at other churches while they rebuilt.

Church officials say they expect an emotionally charged worship service on Sunday but that it will be good to have their own space back.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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