After nearly three years in our facility, we experienced an event that could only have been known by God Himself. Wednesday morning, February 2, 2011, we discovered that the walls of our beautiful church had begun to buckle under the weight of snow and ice.
Pastor John, his two sons, our Executive Campus Pastor and another ministry leader had come to survey the damage and put signs on the door for people to stay out of the facility until an engineer could arrive.
As they were making sure everything was closed, our Senior Pastor heard the small voice of the Lord say, “Get Out!”
Suddenly, they heard loud, pounding bangs coming from the sanctuary. The five men ran outside the building and watched with dismay as the building collapsed on their heels. Covered with dust, and with debris all around, our Pastors witnessed a project that took 2 years to build, falling in 30 seconds before their eyes. They were shouting and crying as they got to a place of safety.
As a church family, we were stunned and heartbroken by this event. We realize that we ourselves are the church, and that God is not housed by structures made with hands. Still, for many of us, this building represented years of commitment and work we have sown into the Kingdom of God. For many others, it is a place where they have experienced God’s power and truth. For all of us, it is a place filled with memories we will hold onto for the rest of our lives.
The vision and intention of this church had been to stand as a beacon to our community, to leave a legacy for generations to come. Now, only three years later, in a matter of moments, it had been rendered uninhabitable.
Once he had recovered from the initial shock, Pastor John felt the Lord drop this word into his spirit as he stood amidst the rubble:
The vision is still standing; the mission has not changed. This ministry’s purpose is found in Him.
So we have found ourselves at a unique place in our journey — one that has challenged our members’ commitment and resolve. As a church we are still becoming, and “it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2).
We are in awe of the Lord’s divine protection, realizing that if this collapse had occurred during a service, when the house was filled, we would not have heard any warning sounds, and lives would almost surely have been lost. An event that could have been tragic is being used by God to do an even greater work.
To see a complete collection of photos documenting this transition, click here.