FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — First United Methodist Church of Fort Smith is celebrating 101 years of its sanctuary after COVID-19 pushed the celebration back a year.

The current sanctuary was built back in 1921. Another pandemic in 1918 pushed back the first construction of the building.

Senior Pastor, Rev. Bud Reeves, said the church has stood strong throughout multiple wars and now multiple pandemics.

“We’re actually celebrating who we are as a church and the strength of the church as it is today as well as our past,” Reeves said.

The sanctuary has welcomed thousands of people over 101 years.

“You can stand in this sanctuary and imagine how many worship services and baptisms and confirmations and weddings and funerals have happened in this space over the years and it’s just sort of awe inspiring,” Reeves said.

The celebration included a picnic, hymns, and a special Sunday service.