Service continues at Reedley church despite arson fire

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As Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church members gathered, their pastor reminded them that even though a fire destroyed parts of their building, it didn't destroy the church. (KFSN)

A Reedley church gathered for services Sunday one day after a burglar broke in and set fire to one of its buildings.

As Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church members gathered, Pastor Malcolm Light reminded them that even though a fire destroyed parts of their building, it didn't destroy the church.

"Buildings come and go and we can rebuild and reconfigure, things we need to do," he said. "The church is people."

It was part of his Sunday morning message as he showed members photos of the fire and brought it back to lessons learned in the bible.

"When you go through the fire, you will not be burned," Light said. "The flames will not consume you and that our God is a savior. Our God walks with us and just reminding them of those truths today."

Smoke and flames affected a number of classrooms and offices, forcing them to move Sunday School for now. The fire department said it's a case of arson, the suspects even stealing tools and a computer.

"It means that there are some people in this world who really need help," church goer Vernon Janzen said. "They really need help or they wouldn't do this kind of a thing."

The fire started in a maintenance closet at the church and it then spread from there towards the inner parts of the building into the chapel where many memories were made.

"People have gotten married there, we've had funeral services in there, we just had regular services, all kinds of stuff," Light said. "And that's what makes it hard. Is those memories, probably some will see that those memories have just been taken from us."

"It strikes at the heart," Janzen said. "Because that's the place where people meet, in a very significant way."

But they know it's just a building, and they're thankful to God they all still have each other.
Related Topics:
newsfresno countyarson investigationchurch fireReedley
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