Rembert, SC (WLTX) - Members of Union Baptist Church were shocked last summer as they watched a fire destroy their church building.

"We had members across the street that were in tears," Pastor Walter Robertson said.

Robertson told his congregation that they would press on in a major way.

"It's just a minor setback, but look out baby when we come back, we are coming back strong," he said at the service that followed the fire in June 2016.

They took their first big step forward Sunday when they broke ground on the site.

"You really could see kind of the weight lifted off of everybody's face. You could really sense the excitement in the air," he said.

Robertson said he is grateful for those who gave donations and helped them get this far.

"We had an anonymous donation of over $10,000 that came in and donated towards the purchase of pews for the church because that's going to be a huge expense as well and people are still asking, 'How can we support you? How can we help?'" he said.

In the meantime, the church will continue to hold services next door inside their Family Life Center.

"We still have people that are coming and joining up with our church. We try to make sure that we have something for the membership to do if not every week, every two or three weeks just to keep the excitement about God going. It's really about God," said Robertson.

The cause of the fire was undetermined. The new building is set to be finished by fall 2018.