Fire Kindles Church’s Faith

March 2013 - Cover Story
by Kevin Boozer

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March 2013 - Cover Story

When members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pomaria gathered on the church lawn before dawn early this year, it wasn’t for a sunrise service. It was to watch their 75-year-old church building go up in flames. As firefighters fought valiantly to bring the fire of unknown origin under control, church members watched in horror as the educational building, then the sanctuary, and finally the bell tower and steeple succumbed to the ever-advancing flames. When the sun finally rose on January 10, all that remained of one of the oldest Lutheran churches in South Carolina was a charred shell.

“And on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).
Lifelong member Jerry Richardson was there amid the smoke and flames. As he gazed at the remaining granite walls, still ringed by feebly licking flames, he saw destruction and devastation. And he saw hope. “The sanctuary walls remaining upright are symbolic,” he said, “that this church was built on a strong foundation that is Jesus Christ.”

Church member Paul Werts was also there. Werts, director for the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, has driven past the church every day for 34 years on his way to work. This day was different.

Why did Christ die for you?

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