Saturday, June 09, 2007

No Words

This morning, my husband woke me with the horrible news that our church had burned down. You can look at more photos here, taken by one of our pastors. Apparently the fire started in the basement kitchen around 4 or 5 a.m., but what caused it has yet to be determined. Two firemen were also injured putting out the blaze.

Zion is a historic church, built by the Germans from Russia in the early 1900's. It was absolutely beautiful, with a gorgeous mural on the wall in the sanctuary, stunning stained glass windows, and the original pews and woodwork. Now it is a shell. When we went to look at it today, my heart hurt.

We live just down the street from our church, and only started attending it in the last few years. We love it. And to see this has just been devastating.
Zion has been a fixture of our neighborhood for many, many years. But the congregation has already found another place to meet. Another church in town graciously offered to allow us to use their building for services tomorrow.

I have no doubt that we will rebuild, and I have just kept one phrase in mind throughout the day: the church is not the building, but the people.


  1. So very sad. All that history. I'm so glad that you will all have a place to meet.

  2. Melissa, this is such sad news. Can any part of the building be saved?

  3. Betty - I don't know at this point. They said it was a total loss, but I guess we'll see what happens.

  4. Oh Melissa, I'm so sorry. But as you say, it's the people that make the church, not the structure.

  5. This is so tragic! What a beautiful building - I hope parts of it can be saved.

  6. That is really sad--always a shock to see the effects of a fire and how quickly it destroys. Very sad. I hope it is restored soon and the firemen not seriously hurt.

  7. We had a similar thing happen in Halifax when one of our oldest churches burned down. They managed somehow to save the top dome and put it on the church when they rebuilt perserving some of the history but it breaks your heart when something like that is lost. My elementary school that was another historic building burned last summer and I still get teary-eyed when I look at the pictures.

    I hope the firemen that were injured recovery quickly.

  8. Devon Ellington8:31 AM

    I am so sorry! Best wishes for a quick rebuild -- building love back into the actual physical structure will make it all the stronger.


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