CLEARFIELD — The gymnasium of Wasatch Elementary School transformed into a temporary place of worship during a Palm Sunday service unlike any other the Clearfield Community Church has seen.
March 19, the congregation's historic church building burned down. Since then, they have been reeling at the loss, while still counting their blessings.
"We were not able to have any palms delivered this week because there was no place to deliver them," said Pastor John Parsley. "And we had some palms made with scissors by the children weeks ago and they were lost in the fire."
Members of the Clearfield Community Church said Sunday that even though they don't have a church in which to meet, the spirit of the service was the same.
There are a lot of memories in the building, now blackened by smoke and fire.
"My children were all baptized here," said Kathy Russell. "I was married here. My children were married here."
Some even put their own efforts into the building, contributing labor and art.
"I did a lot of the stained glass in the church and it's all gone," said Ed Isler.
Clearfield mayor Don Wood and fire Chief Mike Becraft came out to support this displaced congregation and answer questions at Sunday's service. Becraft said that it was likely an old computer monitor that started the blaze.
"A possible short," he said. "I can't say exactly what was in the display, but that was the energy source they determined started the fire."
Fire fighters who worked to end the blaze were welcomed with a standing ovation.
While the congregation is sad, church members said they are focusing on the silver lining.
"There were people here that haven't been to church for years," said attendee Chris Rebmann.
"We'll rebuild and be stronger than ever and closer than ever," he said.
Parsley said it will probably take between eighteen months and two years to clean out and rebuild their church. For the time being, they plan to continue holding their Sunday services at Wasatch Elementary.
If you would like to donate to the Clearfield Community Church's rebuilding fund, you can mail contributions to the Clearfield Community Church Rebuilding Fund at P.O box 6007 Clearfield, UT 84089.*
*ksl.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does ksl.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.