Community supports Indiana church after fire
Friday, September 7, 2012
Lebanon, Indiana
By NCN News Staff
One month ago, the Lebanon First Church of the Nazarene burned down. Since then, more than 20 churches and organizations have offered prayers and support.

Lebanon First Church Pastor Richard Burdett recently described the atmosphere in the church parking lot immediately after the fire in a Lebanon Reporter article.

"Each individual and group brought a spirit of prayer, support, hugs, tears, and a spirit of unity and oneness like I haven’t seen or experienced but a few times in my life," he said "We had no labels or titles, only disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ."

The fire began around 5:45 a.m. on August 5, just hours before the church's Sunday morning service was scheduled to begin. The blaze, which ignited from a lightning strike, did not injury anyone.

The Lebanon Church had that morning's service at Lebanon Middle School, where services are now held each week. Sunday School is in the evening at First Community Church, and the church's office and midweek ministries are housed at the Centenary United Methodist Church.

According Lebanon First Church's website, the Alpha House and Klub Naz were not affected. The main building is considered a total loss, but is covered by insurance.

"We are well underway with plans to rebuild on the same property as before," Burdett said. "Our plan is to be ready to build when the insurance is settled and the demolition of the old building is complete." 

Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC) offered to help the church and Burdett with communication-related needs.

"That wonderful organization was quick to ask if they could help in the coordination of our needs and those desiring to help us at this time and they are currently doing just that," Burdett said.

According to their website, Love INC is "a unique network of churches and agencies that respond to needs of ordinary people who need HOPE in the midst of a difficult time in life." The organization has more than 150 affiliates in 30 states.

"This recent fire is not just about the Church of the Nazarene on the corner of Garfield and Camp Streets," Burdett said. "It is about the Body of Christ and its influence and witness throughout the greater Lebanon community.

"The ministries of the church have not changed, but rather been rearranged to continue for spiritual and outreach growth. Our worship attendance has increased by 20 percent while our other ministries has kept with or increased in size from the past."
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