Last week the church burned down? It was an inside job and all planned by our board. Actually it was the old building that we used for a church meeting place that burned. It was built and used as a barn for many years before being sold and converted to a building for church use.
For the record keep in mind that the real church is God's people. Ecclesia, the Greek word for church, originally meant an assembly called out by a person of authority. Therefore, "church" refers to God's people called out by Him to be His own. Jesus said, "I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." (Mtt. 16:18b). However, the word in modern usage has come to mean a building as well as a body of people.
Now, back to the barn burning. Yes, we did burn down the church building that we affectionately called the barn. For ten years we met in it twice on Sunday morning, once in the evening and other nights of the week. I preached somewhere around 1,500 messages there. It was a well built building and was very useful to the end. But it was just a pile of smoldering ashes by last Saturday night.
Why did we burn the barn? With the planned expansion of our church facilities it was necessary to remove the barn so that an equal amount of square footage could be added to our new educational building. Building codes limit the amount of building square footage that can cover our property. By removing the barn we are now able to add two or more new class rooms to the new facility. The old had a place but now gives way to the new. Remember, it is not buildings that change people. But what happens inside them does. The new buildings will be places of teaching about Christ from the Scriptures.
Why didn't we just disassemble it and use the lumber? Good question. Burning it saved us about $8,000 in demolition costs and also provided a unique training opportunity for our Fire Department. To them it was like ten Christmases since they rarely have a real burning building to do live drills in. Thanks, Chief Burgess and Lyon for burning our church down. It was a blessing. :-) About thirty or more firefighters spent the day here handling this for us. See the special two minute video below created by my son Nehemiah.
What is next? The ashes will be cleaned up this week. We continue to wait for engineers to complete our parking design and then we hope to apply for the coveted building permit. Keep praying.
Join us this Sunday for our Mother's Day breakfast at 9:30 (No Sunday School). Bring a breakfast snack to share. Then worship as we remember our mothers at 10:30.