I Love My Church - 4
The year was 2004. George Bush faced off against John Kerry. Terrorists were still attacking all over the world. Life was good until July 3rd. (poof!) Betty, Anneka and I went out to lunch with our friends Joe and Judy McCutchen. We were meeting their new adopted son Isaiah. As we were driving back to the church I get a phone call from someone who had recently left the church. "Pastor, I'm sorry to tell you but the church burnt down." HUH? All I said was, "Well, I'm on my way there now, we'll see." As we turned the corner I knew that it wasn't good. 11 cops - 2 ambulances - a ladder truck - 2 fire trucks - the fire chief, asst. chief and a whole lot more.
Well, it was close. The fellowship hall was gone. That was a little irritation seeing how we had just remodeled the thing. But it was gone, the church smell like smoke and it was Saturday. What were we going to do? The following morning, we had church and the first song we sang was, "Fire in the House" I though that was funny.
What happened the next few weeks (which I will blog a little more about) was amazing. God has promised me that He was going to change this church. I knew that it had to happen - all efforts to reach our community were thwarted due to the church reputation in the community. (The people were gone, but the memories remained.) A core of people who I didn't even thing cared about this church surrounded Betty and I - the ones I thought were going to help us through this tough time walked away. I was shocked and surprised. A pastor old and wiser than I told me that you will see what you really have when you really need them.
Now that I look back on that fire it was the end of the old First Assembly of God. It went up in flames. What happened next - that really started us down a new road.