Just days after the man who set their church on fire was sent to prison, members of New Hope Baptist Church hope to put the past year behind them when they dedicate their new educational building Saturday. Pastor Matthew Lester and the congregation of the century-old church at 910 Highway 47 East will celebrate the completion of the renovation following the May 16, 2012, fire that gutted their kitchen and dining room and severely damaged the building’s original sanctuary. A ribbon cutting and dedication service will be held at 10 am Saturday followed by the church’s annual picnic. The original church had become the educational building after the addition of a new sanctuary and offices and was undergoing some renovations when Carlos D. Carr of Dickson broke in, stole a small amount of money and set fire to the kitchen and dining area last year. The fire also destroyed stained glass windows and caused heavy smoke damage in the former sanctuary. Church members stood vigil outside the crime scene tape as police and fire investigators combed the building for clues and vowed their spirit would not be broken, continuing with the scheduled services the very next weekend. The recovery renovation has included a new kitchen and dining hall, while the former sanctuary has been remodeled into classrooms and offices. During the project, the church has added a deck and fire pit to the grounds. Saturday’s annual picnic will include fellowship, activities for children and barbecue. On Monday, a judge sentenced the 36-year-old Carr to six years in prison in a plea bargain agreement. Lester and the congregation say they have forgiven Carr, who had attended the church off and on, and are ready to move forward with a renewed spirit of celebration.