By DAVID MAY
ADELL – Fire destroyed Adell Community Fellowship's sanctuary, but not its spirit or faith.
After fire swept through the large, two-story metal building Thursday morning, destroying virtually everything inside, church members went immediately to work transforming its old sanctuary and auditorium into a place to conduct Sunday services.
Church members, along with some from other area churches pitching in, worked into the nights Friday and Saturday tearing down classroom partitions, painting, carpeting, setting up chairs and putting together musical instruments and light, audio and video components so that services could go on, though not on the scale they have been accustomed to.
However, no one at the church was shedding any tears. They were simply moving forward.
“You realize real quick that God's in control,” said church member and retired Parker County employee Claude Jackson. “You can't be down and sad. You're just happy no one was in there, no one got hurt. None of the firemen were injured. The building is gone but the church lives on. That's not the church. That's just a building. We're OK, we're OK. And we had insurance.”
The cause of the fire – which fire officials said apparently had built gradually over a period of several hours before it was noticed Thursday morning – remains under investigation. Fire investigators believe they have pinpointed the area where the fire started but have not officially determined why.
The fire went to six alarms with 17 area fire departments responding with equipment and personnel, including an aerial ladder truck from Lockheed-Martin's fire department. Nothing inside or out is considered salvageable.
“It will go back,” Jackson said of the building which he said was initially constructed around 1999 and hosting worship services regularly beginning in about 2004. “It will be much different than it is now. We have worked with the insurance people. The fire investigators have been here and are coming back this week. When they clear us and give us the OK we are going to start with the project and getting everything together and trying to build back.”
Though a shock to members, they have put everything in perspective.
“When I first saw the building I was kind of heartbroken,” said member David Elser. “But it's just a building and we have this small building to fall back on until that one is rebuilt. Nobody got hurt and we are all together.”
Jackson said a lot of people came together to help the church in its time of need.
“Lots of good people helped,” he said. “Some of the people who used to go here but who have gone on to other ministries, they've come back. We had some other churches, some people from other churches, come by and help and offer to help and do whatever. The whole community. Everybody just came together.”