Burned Church Building Resurrected

By: Liza Park
By: Liza Park

"Rejoiceful, the only words for it is rejoiceful. We are blessed with Father Jim because he has created this," exclaims member of Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Joe Hines.

Rejoicing is what the congregation of the Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal was doing Sunday morning in their newly rebuilt sanctuary.

It's the first time they have been able to hold a service in this building since April 2004 when an arsonist burned down their church.

"When you have a fire like this, it's almost like a death. People, you know, the people feel it's like a death. There's a lot of pastor work that one would do and now you bring them back up like a resurrection," says Jim Parker, the priest of Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal.

Church members say Father Jim did more than just pastor work for this resurrection.

"Father Jim did a tremendous amount of the actual building of the church himself. The alter rail he had crafted all those pieces, and many members have been involved," explains senior warden Maura Wilson.

"Two things were spared from burning in the fire, the alter, which is being used in the sanctuary now, and the steeple, which will be put on the building at a later date."

But for now, members are just happy to be worshipping back in their own building.

As for the arsonist, David Bilsky was arrested but found not guilty of arson by reason of insanity.

The congregation temporarily held services at a Jewish Synagogue nearby, and then worshipped in a mobile home placed on the church property.


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