Chehalis Members Dedicate New Church
Chehalis, Wash., members have dedicated their new church building.
Participating in the mortgage shredding were Loren Cooper, head elder, and Mark Remboldt, Washington Conference vice president for finance.
Construction on the seven-acre site two miles west of Chehalis began under the direction of William Hammond and Tex Ladish, building committee chairman and construction superintendent, in spring of 1994.
On May 4, 1995, when the church was 95 percent complete, an open propane line fueled a fire in the furnace room. The fire proved unquenchable, and most of the structure was destroyed, despite the efforts of dozens of firefighters, 17 fire trucks, and Weyerhauser helicopters dumping water onto the inferno.
But only 11 months later, on Easter Sabbath, the 296-member congregation made its way to the new structure, led by a local Rural Fire District fire truck that had responded to the church fire the year before.
The congregation, which now numbers more than 400, has not only enjoyed, but has been richly blessed in, the new facility. Chester Schurch, current pastor, and former pastor Larry McCombs pointed out that the congregation has not been inwardly focused.
During the struggles of planning, building, rebuilding, and paying for a new church, dozens of members have been personally involved in mission projects in Eastern Europe, India, and Central and South America. During these outreaches, they have participated in evangelism and built schools and churches, often providing both labor and the cost of construction materials. •