The hallowed halls of Tamworth's Southside Uniting Church were packed fuller than usual on Sunday as members of the congregation came to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of their church on Goonoo Goonoo Road.
Smiles of gratitude were infectious as people passed the besser blocks carved with crosses at the entrance to the church, which have been proudly displayed for as long as the building has been standing.
Before relocating to the current site on the southern entrance into town, Reverend Grant Atkins said the church was situated in a "little green weatherboard building" on Croydon Avenue for around 60 years.
"I often say our profile went from Clark Kent to Superman. We went from no one knowing where we were to across the road from the golden guitar," the reverend said.
As the church's lay pastor at the time, Father Atkins was instrumental in the move to the bigger church, but good luck trying to get him to take any credit for it.
"I believe it was God's provision and through the generosity of people and the wider church we were able to build this place," he told the Leader.
A history of support
The church's former site struggled to accommodate the congregation, which at times swelled to 120 people.
Nowadays, Reverend Geoff Flynn says they have around 60 people who attend services every week, though there was certainly more than that at the special anniversary service on Sunday, February 11.
As they reflected on the last two decades, both reverends thanked their congregation as well as the New England North West Presbytery and the Synod of NSW and the ACT for their constant support.
The church had only $90,000 to build the house of worship more than 20 years ago, but with the help of their members and through the generosity of the Synod they were able to construct the impressive building, which came to cost more than $1.1 million.
Having stood for 20 years and looking forward to another 20 to come, members of the church say the investment was well worth it.