By Wayne Gates –
A fire broke out in the original sanctuary building of the Bible Baptist Church in Mt. Orab the evening of Monday, April 10.
The next day, multiple holes could be seen in the sunken roof of the structure.
The Mt. Orab Fire Department and seven other responding departments worked into the early morning hours battling the fire and keeping it from destroying the main sanctuary and other parts of the property.
Reverend Ted House arrived on the scene after the fire began and was still there the next morning assessing the damage and meeting with staff.
“We are going to go forward for God and for his work,” House said.
“We are planning on having all of our regular services on Sunday. Our Easter breakfast and Easter services will continue as normal.”
House said that the building that burned was more than just a structure.
“The original church building is what burned. Many church members have great memories of hundreds of loved ones being baptised in that building, weddings and funerals in that building. We will retore it or rebuild it.”
House said the building was used primarily for Sunday School services.
“Our junior high and high school youth department meets in there on Sundays and our young married class meets in there as well. Because God has blessed us with other buildings, we are going to move those classes to other areas of the facility and still continue to have those classes.”
House said that the Wednesday night prayer meeting and bible study would be moved to the main auditorium of the church.
House also said that the news of the fire was upsetting at first, but then things came into focus.
“The first thought was shock, but it was immediately followed by peace. God gave me instant peace and I knew that everything would be OK.”
He then went to the church to take a look at things for himself.
“When I pulled on the scene, all of the fire departments were working very hard. Seeing flames come out of the top of the building, I immediately began to pray for the firefighters for their safety,” House said.
“Thanks to the great efforts of our Mt. Orab Fire Department and eight departments that responded, the fire was contained to just that building. We are very thankful for their work, dedication and professionalism.”
House said that he appreciates all of the ways that concerned people have been reaching out to him since word of the fire has spread.
“I’ve had hundreds of phone calls and texts from pastors in the area, church members, pastors from around the state. All of them are saying that they are praying for us and offering help. It made me feel glad that I have such friends in the ministry and the community. I know with their prayers and God’s direction, everything will be fine. The church is not the building. The church is the people.”
House said that the building was fully insured and that he hopes to be able to announce more plans on moving forward at Easter services on April 16.