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Pastor, patrons optimistic despite loss of Clearfield church

By Mike Anderson | Posted - Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:48pm


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CLEARFIELD — People at the Clearfield Community Church say they're pressing forward despite a fire that destroyed their building yesterday.

Fortunately for the members of the church, Pastor John Parsley says insurance will cover the cost.

Wednesday night, a group met in the parking for what they called a Meet Me in the Middle. The charred wood and broken glass were once home to decades of memories. Church patron Trudy Schellhasc said she loved the stained glass windows that are now gone.

"My heart is in this church," Schellhasc said.

Jim Philips, another church patron, says the aftermath of Tuesday's fast-moving fire was just something he had to see, despite how painful it may be.

Donations to Rebuild the Church:
Donations can be made to help rebuild the church by sending checks or money with a note of "Rebuilding Fund" to:
  • Clearfield Community Church Rebuilding Fund
  • P.O. Box 6007
  • Clearfield, UT 84089

"It's hard to even talk about it," Philips said. "We were baptized Christians in this church. All of our children were baptized here. We've just kind of grown up with the church."

The Clearfield Community Church served the people here since 1945. It was not only a house of worship, but a meeting place for several groups.

"I went to Brownies here as a child. In the basement. And now it's gone," said Bonnie Branum, who lives nearby.

As firefighters from several agencies investigate the cause, a steady stream of onlookers have stopped by the remains to reflect.

"They have that pensive sort of what do we do now, kind of look on their face," Parsley said. "But we know what we're going to do."

Parsley says many of them share a simple understanding.

"God built this building. He can build another one," Parsley said.


It's hard to even talk about it. We were baptized Christians in this church. All of our children were baptized here. We've just kind of grown up with the church.

–Jim Philips


He said they believe that even though the building is gone, the church is still there.

"Church is the people, it's not the building," Parsley said.

Members of the church agree with him.

"God will clear the way for us," said Schellhasc.

Parsley says they have received several offers on meeting places, and have decided to have services this Sunday at Wasatch Elementary over on Center Street. Investigators are still working on determining the exact cause of the fire.

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