Spring Hill Church members ponder their future


Members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are considering erecting a memorial to the historic building, destroyed by fire July 22.

It’s possible some of the old timbers, although charred, could be reused if a new church is built.

Those are just ideas, the Rev. Ronald Knapp, pastor of the church, said — thoughts from the 20 or so faithful who come to the parish hall Sunday mornings to worship, and who continue to grieve the loss of the 1773 structure.

They still haven’t been told the cause of the fierce fire that destroyed the building, although they know arson was ruled out.

Until then, rubble can’t be cleared away.

“It’s been overwhelming sometimes since the fire, and that’s part of the frustration. We keep smelling wet timbers and looking at this destruction but it has to stay until a definite cause is determined,” the pastor said.

“There is so much that has to be redone and replacing my own personal losses. My vestments, things like that, can never be replaced. It’s not a simple thing to do,” the pastor said.

“All the congregation, most of them, have strong emotional feelings about things that were lost, but they continue to come to church and life goes on,” he said.

The church family is making plans for a new well and heating and air conditioning unit for the parish hall, and the Rev. Knapp is noticing blessings rising from the ashes.

“This has given  us the opportunity to take a new direction, to really create something new from something old. People are thinking and praying and looking in different directions to see what God has in mind for this place. I am sure something wonderful is going to come out of it,” he said.

Faithful church members are determining just “what kind of ministry should be done in the Spring Hill area, maybe a different kind of outreach,” the pastor said.

“The strength of the church is not the building, ever. It’s always what it’s doing with its people and spreading the news of Jesus, the good news, the healing, whatever is possible.”

Contact Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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