First Christian Church holds first Sunday service since fire - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

First Christian Church gathers for first Sunday service since devastating fire

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OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

Members of First Christian Church came together for the first Sunday service since the fire that destroyed their downtown church.

Palm Sunday services were held at Century Christian Church, which First Christian's daughter church. Church officials said they spent the weekend preparing their new home.

"We're a church, a church is a body of people, although the sentimental factor of the building burning down is certainly be in our minds forever and ever, but yet if we truly are a church by virtue of people, then those people can gather where ever the case may be," member Chris Gaddis said.

So members gathered at Century Christian Church.

Senior Minister Jake Caldwell says the congregation does have a new, temporary home.

"There's obviously still a lot of grief, as people are preparing to move on and remembering some of the memories they have of our place that we had been in for so long," Caldwell said.

Gaddis and his family have been members of First Christian Church for twelve years.  

"Both of our children were dedicated. I have a soon to be six-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. Both of those children were born while we were members of that church and have grown up in their youth programs," Gaddis said.

Gaddis said his son, Walker, asked about the fire.  

"He wants to know when his next Sunday school class is going to be ready, wants to know where's his friends going to church," Gaddis said.

Walker will soon have a new sunday school classroom at a long-term, temporary home.

Officials say the Journey Fellowship, the former Seven Hills Baptist Church, has opened its doors to First Christian Church.

"We really saw so many of our members of our church come together to clean that place and prepare it for us to be there. That was an expression, I think of people's grief and also their interest in helping out as we begin to move forward," Caldwell said.

Officials say the outpouring of support came from all directions.
 
"The love and support that's gone out from Owensboro has been phenomenal and 95% of it aren't members of Owensboro's First Christian Church Disciples Denomination, it's been multiple denominations and very much appreciated," Gaddis said.

A special Easter service is planned.

"Sunrise service that we're actually going to at the parking lot of the church, next Sunday morning at 6:30. We thought what a unique way to celebrate Easter doing a sunrise service on the parking lot with the background of our church being there," Gaddis said.

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