Dear Church Family,
Last night, November 6, sometime after 5pm, a fire broke out in The Prayer Chapel of The Church On The Way. No one was in the building, but, by the time first responders arrived and knocked the fire down, quite a bit of damage had been done to the structure. At this time, we, along with investigators, have every reason to believe that the fire was not caused by any person. We are continuing to discover how this event will impact our ministry operations, but we do know that the facility is unusable for now and for the foreseeable future.
While this is a difficult reality for all of us at The Church On The Way, it’s especially painful for those who had significant life events happen in The Prayer Chapel: some of you got saved in that building; some were married there; others were baptized or remember a major period of growth while worshiping there; I’ve spoken to many who encountered God’s presence and who heard the Lord’s voice giving them life-direction in that very room. Whatever your experience with The Prayer Chapel, we can all agree that this is a sad day.
However, as I just stated in my sermon two days ago, the Church isn’t the building—God doesn’t live in buildings made by human hands—the Church is God’s people! We can celebrate that there was no loss of life, there were no injuries, and, quite miraculously, most of the important documents, books and personal items that were in the building were unharmed. While we recognize the schemes of the enemy in trying to destroy, we also glorify the Father that His plan is better; we have rock-solid trust that God can take the ashes that exist, as a result of the devil’s attack, and create something beautiful out of them.
The Church On The Way thrives today: we honor the amazing work of the Holy Spirit in our midst week after week, and we stand in awe of the hundreds of people being saved in this season. A fire won’t change that…a fire can’t change that! Soon we will discern the will of the Lord regarding how to move forward with the building, but, rest assured, He has better plans for us than all we can ask or think—more than we can even hope or imagine.
At this time, most of what was happening in The Prayer Chapel can be rescheduled to another location. But please be praying with us about how we are to serve our Middle School and High School groups at this time: our youth are very important to us, and we don’t want the temporary loss of a meeting space to slow the momentum of God in those groups by one minute. They will continue to meet on Wednesday nights (in the Kids Building for now), and this Sunday, they will all join the adults in The Living Room.
I hope you’ll also join us this coming Sunday morning at 9am or 11am, as we take a few minutes to further address this, and as we stop for a moment to pray together over what’s happened. I have no doubt that God will give us wisdom, and that He will provide the answer, as well as the resources to accomplish whatever answer He calls us toward.