Church destroyed by massive fire set to rise from the ashes

Local

SCHROON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — NEWS10 ABC viewers will likely recall the images from a blaze on January 2, 2019 that destroyed the Schroon Lake Community Church. Pastor Lynnette Cole recalls the day.

“It was your worst nightmare happening in front of you.”

Pastor Cole had been coaching basketball a block away. She ran to the church, which at that point, was too far gone. Her home next door was also in danger.

“Ran into the house and grabbed some things and then sat on the sidewalk with everyone else and just watched what seemed like history and memories and years just disintegrating right in front of you,” she said.

The church had been undergoing renovations, and investigators determined that the cause was accidental — a striped wire.

No one was hurt, but a longtime hub of the community was decimated, and Pastor Cole lost her home. NEWS10’s Anya Tucker asked Cole how she managed to pull her congregation together after losing not only her church building but also her home and belongings.

“I think one of the biggest things is remembering why we are connected. Not just as a congregation, but as a town. Trying to live out what is the greatest commandment and that is loving each other,” Cole responded.

Love from the community of Schroon came in the form of offers of space to hold services. While Pastor Cole and her congregation were relieved and grateful for the support, they were longing for a new home church building. And looking forward to it even more during the isolation of a pandemic.

So, last week, they were thrilled to hold a socially distanced groundbreaking at the same location where the old church once stood.

The Schroon Lake Community Church is now set to rise from the ashes as ground movers prepare a new foundation.

Anya asked Pastor Cole what she has taken away from all this.

“No matter whether your house is burned down or not. Whether your church is burned down or not. No matter what happens, you still have to be finding that same passion, that same drive, that same calling — day in and day out. So, that has been a big one,” she said.

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