‘People are the church,’ leaders say after fire moves Easter service

Posted at 4:19 PM, Apr 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-21 16:19:11-04

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich.– This Easter Sunday, a church had to do their services a bit differently after part of its building burned down.

Worshippers at the Lakeshore Church of Christ attended the service in the church’s Fellowship Hall, which is smaller than where services are usually held.

“It is going to be a little, a little tough, a little cramped but we’ll get through it,” says song leader Connor Bilsky.

No one was hurt in the fire that broke out around 3 a.m. Friday morning. Minister Mike Scholten says some people are heartbroken to learn about the damage the fire caused to the church.

“(They) have shed many tears and, but I think the majority of the congregation here feels that it is just simply a building and it is a building that can be replaced,” Scholten says.

Scholten tells FOX 17 an insurance appraiser has already come to evaluate the damage. On Monday, he says a fire marshal will be there to investigate the cause of the fire.

“Everybody seems to think it was something to do with a short in wiring,” Scholten says. “That’s what it seems to be at this point.”

Scholten and the members of his church know that things could be a lot worse. He says they prayed on Sunday for the victims of the church and hotel bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than 200 people.

“People need to take the concepts of Jesus and put them into their lives,” Scholten says. “The concepts of love and grace and mercy, to have more of that in this world instead of the intolerance that is there and that intolerance and the prejudices are driving so much of this.”

Bilsky says while they’re grateful to have a second building, it’s not four walls and a ceiling that make a place of worship.

“The church is the group of people,” Bilsky says. “The people are the church. We are the church, not the building, not the place where we meet and the fact that all of us were healthy and okay and no one was at the building you know, we lucked out. We got lucky.”