By CHRISTIN COYNE
ADELL – A year after their sanctuary was destroyed by fire, the Adell Community Fellowship Sunday service was packed.
Ushers set up extra rows of chairs for families as congregants sang “Joy to the World” and prepared for a baby dedication, three baptisms and the Lord’s Supper.
For months after the Dec. 13, 2012, fire that destroyed the non-denominational church’s sanctuary and everything inside, church members met in the former children’s area in the small building next door.
But this holiday season, congregants celebrated in the gleaming new building with simple ceremonies honoring rebirth in Christ.
“Isaiah 61:3 talks about beauty from ashes,” Senior Pastor Mike Wiley said. “We’ve kind of used that as an earmark for our building.”
“One of our members made that statement, which I thought was good, ‘from the ashes we rise,’” Wiley said. “When you face a tragedy like we did and a total loss like we did, you feel pretty hopeless. But God has just been so wonderful to us through others who have helped us, through donations. It’s just been amazing how God’s people have come together and helped individually and other churches, how they’ve come together and helped us.”
The day after the fire, a group of volunteers went into the building that was used as a children’s area, tearing out walls painted green, purple and pink and repainting them in time for services two days later.
Others donated items allowing the church to continue meeting. First Baptist Church of Possum Kingdom gave the church a hundred chairs while a Lutheran church near Springtown donated a Lord’s Supper table and other furniture.
“And that’s just the way it’s been,” Wiley said. “We’ve had physical donations. We’ve had monetary donations. It’s just been amazing to watch God’s people come together outside the denominations ... We’ve received help from every conceivable denominations, plus individuals. We’ve had individuals send us checks that were not members of our church. They just showed up, you know.”