Church rebuilds with faith

By Anna Carrera

Published 12/02 2013 05:34PM

Updated 12/03 2013 10:09AM

DANVILLE -- A church which caught fire after getting hit by lightning this past spring is being rebuilt. If you walk inside the Ridgeview Baptist Church and look up, all you see is the sky. So the pastor says they want to get working as soon as possible, before the winter weather really hits.

Just months ago, most of the sanctuary inside the church was charred; burned bits of what was built in the 1990's. But not anymore.

"The rest of those come in this week and we'll start putting it back together," said Pastor Mark Keyser.

A cleaning crew has been hard at work, now putting a special sealing layer over pieces they'll keep. That way, they won't smell like smoke. The builders plan to start Wednesday.

"If they can take care in the next couple of weeks and get the roof back on, then it's all inside work and we'll be okay," said Keyser.

No one was inside when the fire sparked, but it burned for hours before firefighters put it out. The sole survivor was a bible. It was opened to the book of Psalms.

"The bible was on the platform next to the communion table that was totally destroyed," said the church's trustees chair Bill Stuckemeyer. "Both pages are scorched but there's no pages missing. The pages are all there."

Pieces and parts of the original church will still stand after it's fixed up, but the church isn't the only thing getting a fresh coat of perspective.

"It's easy to think outside the box when the box burns down and that's kind of what we're doing right now," said Keyser. "We hope to come into the renewed building with a new sense of our mission and purpose."

"It's just one step closer to being back in to serve the Lord in this building," said Stuckemeyer.

Keyser says they hope to be done with construction in a little less than a year. That way they'll be ready in time for the Thanksgiving service in 2014.

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