RAVENNA, Mich. — A congregation held a worship service Sunday less than a day after fire destroyed its church building.
The fire at First Reformed Church in Ravenna started Saturday afternoon and lasted throughout the evening. The Ravenna Fire Department called in many surrounding agencies to help battle the blaze. It was challenging to fight because there was only one fire hydrant nearby.
Ultimately tankers with water were used to put out the fire. However, it did reignite overnight into Sunday morning taking with it many memories.
“I have a tremendous number of memories at this church. I was married in the church. My father and my uncle helped build the sanctuary back in the early sixties. All four of my children were baptized in the church. some of them were married here,” church member Geraldine Eadie said.
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Thankfully no lives were lost in the fire. Although the building is gone, the cross remains. Another church in the area opened its doors to give First Reformed Church members a place to worship for Sunday service.
“Even though behind me there’s a burnt down shell of a sanctuary where we were anticipating worshiping today, by God’s grace our neighbors opened up their sanctuary and people came in set up the chairs and that’s about community. It’s about people,” First Reformed Church Pastor Steve VanderWoude said.
Pastor VanderWoude told Fox 17 it could take up to a few years until the church is completely rebuilt.