Church Recovering From Fire Prepares for Easter - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Church Recovering From Fire Prepares for Easter

Eastridge Park Congregational Methodist Church plans to rebuild in next six months after December fire



    East Ridge Park Methodist Church is getting ready for Easter Sunday services despite a December fire that heavily damaged their sanctuary. (Published Friday, March 29, 2013)

    Members of a Mesquite church say the fire that damaged their building did not destroy their resolve.

    Eastridge Park Congregational Methodist Church's sanctuary remains in ruins, but members are getting ready for Easter Sunday services.

    "It's pretty amazing," pastor Mark Mills said. "Easter is ... all about resurrection and new life and who would have thought that months ago that's exactly what this fire has done for our church."

    When the 50-year-old church sanctuary burned down in December, a hymnal open to a song was one of the only things discovered unscathed.

    "It was open to a hymn that states 'only believe,' and we were amazed that the hymnal was open, not burned like everything around it and open to that particular hymn," Mills said.

    The hymn is now the rallying cry for the recovering church, which holds services in a back room of the property.

    "It was reassurance that God is still in control, that as long we put our faith and trust in him, that we will be OK," said Rhonda Poole, whose grandmother was a founding member of the church.

    "It's brought us new life. It's brought us closer together. We pray more together, we do more together as a church, and we are excited about the resurrection of our church," Mills said.

    The church got good news on Good Friday -- the first bid offer to rebuild.

    Other churches in the community have been helping, donating money to the church to rebuild.

    Members haven't decided if they will start at the Mesquite location from scratch or move to another location.

    "The church is not a building; the church is inside you," Poole said.

    Wherever they are, members have faith that their sanctuary will rise again from the ashes.

    "We believe that message goes to anybody who is facing difficult times -- 'only believe,'" Mills said.

    The church's building committee is hoping to get a contractor soon and have everything restored sometime in the next six months.