A fire likely started by lightning destroyed Guthrie (Okla.) Christian Church last week. The blaze started just before midnight on Aug. 14. No one was hurt.
“We lost 49 years of books, pictures, sermons, memories and even my college books,” pastor Don Riepe told the Guthrie News Leader. Riepe is an alum of Ozark Christian College.
Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said the building was a “total loss.”
The church was still smoldering the next morning—last Wednesday. Later that day, there was a special prayer meeting near the site, with many people offering support.
“We want to thank everyone for reaching out and ask that you keep our congregation in your prayers,” associate pastor Heath Shelton told the paper.
“I think it helped the people to just come together and touch each other and grieve together,” Riepe told KOKH–Fox 25 after the prayer meeting.
“You can’t believe the community that’s come by here and talked about how much they loved me and how much they loved this church and how much we’ve impacted the community over the years.”
Riepe said the church plans to rebuild.
Worship services last Sunday and this Sunday, plus Wednesday night services, are taking place at the Drexel Event Center.
Those wishing to help financially can do so by designating funds to the Guthrie Christian Church building fund through InterBank, which has an office in Guthrie (and others in Oklahoma and Texas). Guthrie’s InterBank branch is at 224 E. Oklahoma Ave., Guthrie, OK 73044; it can be reached at (405) 282-0470.
On Monday, a Facebook post (which features the graphic at the top of this article) mentioned the building fund and said, “The responses of love and support from the Guthrie community and our friends all over the world is truly humbling. Thank you!”
A 50th anniversary celebration commemorating the work of Christ in Youth since its founding will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at Christ’s Church at Oronogo (Mo.). Bob Stacy, CIY’s founder, will be among those honored. Stories and memories of God’s work among students worldwide will be shared.
Northshore Christian Church in Everett, Wash., is offering a class to its members this Saturday geared to helping the church better minister to those in need. “Poverty 101” is a daylong workshop that offers interactive lessons to raise awareness about poverty and to help participants gain an understanding of the worldview of those who are affected by poverty and homelessness. The church hopes to challenge people’s “common presuppositions” and to lay “a biblical foundation to prepare us for ministry.”
Elders at Crossroads Christian Church, Evansville, Ind., cited “philosophical differences” and described a contentious relationship in explaining the firing of lead pastor Patrick Garcia last week. Teaching pastor Rick Kyle also was let go. After the announcement, two additional pastors resigned. CCC has two campuses and averaged 3,363 weekly last year. Several news outlets have covered the story: the Evansville Courier & Press, tristatehomepage.com, and The Christian Post. On Monday, Garcia called for “grace” amid “pain and dysfunction.”
College Heights Christian Church in Joplin, Mo., will celebrate its 50th anniversary this Friday with a box supper celebration service. The event will feature historical and current music and the reading of the “Story of College Heights.”
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