An Update On Our Building

I want to provide you with a brief update on what is happening with our church building and what next steps we are going to pursue. Let me first recap what happened.

During the early morning hours of Friday, July 10th, the front wall of the small third floor section of our building collapsed outward. Bricks were strewn across the second floor roof for as far as 40 feet. Some bricks fell onto the fence of the storage facility next door. Some bricks crushed the top of the largest HV/AC unit on the roof. Emergency vehicles responded quickly to the scene and the fire officials deemed it best to have the power cut to the building until engineers could assess the damage and determine that the property was safe to occupancy. The reason for the wall collapse is not known, but it is guessed that the winds and rain and hail from two recent supercell thunderstorms may have contributed to its demise.

Later on Friday, our insurance company was contacted and preparations for the assessment of the damage were made. Quite a few Christians and a number of organizations and churches offered their assistance to our congregation. On Monday, July 13th, the damage was surveyed by Elder Chad Brendle, who is a licensed Professional Engineer, and the architect that we used to remodel the building five years ago, Mr. David McAbee. In addition, the insurance adjuster and a structural engineer under contract with our insurance company did a thorough examination of the damage on Tuesday, July 14th. The engineer determined that the building was sound and that it was safe to occupy but that the falling bricks had torn the roof membrane and dislodged the gutter system which would allow rain water to seep into the building. As expected, rain from Tuesday evening’s heavy thunderstorm did leak into the building, flooding floors and damaging ceiling tiles in several of the rooms. The chapel (sanctuary), bathrooms, and the office spaces appear to be unscathed thus far but several classrooms and the storage closet have incurred damage. In addition, the air-conditioning has not run in the building for since July 10th and there are concerns that mold, etc. will develop.

The good news is that the insurance company has determined that most of the damages are covered under our policy. A company has been hired to clear away the debris and to repair the roof and another company is coming to clean up the damage on the inside. They begin work Thursday morning, July 16th.

Until all repairs can be completed, we will need to worship elsewhere. In addition, the offices cannot be occupied until electricity is restored.

The kind folk at Young Memorial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church have invited us to worship with them again this coming week, but we think it best to hold our own service of worship. Therefore, we will be worshipping this coming Lord’s Day (and perhaps the next) at Sullivan-King Mortuary on Greenville Street. The good folk at Sullivan-King showed extraordinary hospitality toward us during the first three years of our church’s existence and they are delighted to do so again in our time of need. Worship will begin at 10:30 AM. We will not have Sunday School or a Sunday Evening Service of Worship. Care for infants and toddlers will be provided.

While all the members of Christ Reformed Church have risen to the call during this time of testing, I want to specifically recognize the time and effort provided by Chad Brendle, Allan Woody, Howard Cox, and Bill May. These men have worked tirelessly to get us back into our building as soon as possible. In addition, Mrs. Dunlap has faithfully carried out her duties without computer or phone or office. May heaven be generous in rewarding them for their services to the Bride of Christ.

In closing, please reflect upon a discovery made by the structural engineer as he was examining our building. After combing over the chaotic mess on the roof, the engineer wanted to examine the lower floors of the building. In particular, he wanted ensure that there was no damage to the foundation which might compromise the structural integrity of the building. He was impressed with what he saw.

There were no cracks in the foundation, no faults in the drywall or the wood trim, no signs of any compromise in the columns or foundation. Our church is solid. It is solid because it has been built upon The Rock (Matthew 16:18). It is sound because it is pillared with the Word of God. It is stable because its foundations are the Apostles and the Prophets (Ephesians 2:20). It is glorious because its bricks are the good works of the Saints (1 Corinthians 39-16). It is fixed because it is the House of God (Hebrews 10:21).

One day, the church building at 1621 N. Main Street in Anderson will go the way of the world. It will turn to dust; it will be consumed in fire. The Church, however, that meets there, “will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). Amen, Lord Jesus, come.