Storm-ravaged St. John AME church to gather with North Nashville neighbors for butterfly release

“In March last year, a tornado ripped apart a North Nashville church, and in the 16 months since, the pandemic took the lives of several friends and relatives of parishioners. The St. John AME family has many reasons to grieve. So Nashville nonprofit Alive Hospice — which cares for those with life-threatening illnesses — offered a beautiful way to help the congregation heal. Members of St. John will join with congregants from four nearby churches at 10 a.m. Saturday for a butterfly release. The 30-minute event — free and open to the public — will be at the North Nashville Community Garden where St. John once stood at 1822 Formosa St.

‘I just love the concept,” said M. Mercedes Lytle, 73, a longtime St. John member who’s organizing the event. ‘People who’ve had loss are coming together to both celebrate those persons who’d been a part of their lives and at the same time join with each other to heal and to share.'”

Read on for more about this community event of hope and resilience in the Tennessean.