Faith still the foundation for local Baptists, three years after fire

Work on the foundation of Morinville Baptist Church has recently been completed. The original church was destroyed by fire in September of 2012. – Lucie Roy Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

It was almost three years ago that Morinville Baptist Church was destroyed in an overnight fire. Though the physical structure of the church was soon levelled, the faith and determination of the congregation was not.

Reverend Bill Wicks said the congregation has been meeting at Morinville Christian Fellowship School in the absense of a church facility of their own. “That has worked out well for our Sundays,” Wicks said, adding although they have had to cut back on some of the programming they would do the rest of the week, they have been able to do some programing in church member’s homes. Last summer’s Bible Camp program was conducted in the reverend’s back yard.

But while faith has been the foundation of keeping the church going for nearly three years, work on the physical foundation of the church has recently been completed. Reverend Wicks said the new church’s foundation has a little larger footprint than the former church, about 400 square feet more. Wicks said he’s hoping to be able to put an elevator in the new church, something the former structure did not have.Additionally, the new building will have basement windows, something fire crews said would have helped in fighting the 2012 fire. According to Parker Architects’ website — the new church will “feature a naturally-lit sanctuary for 144 people, large multi-purpose room, bright foyer, nursery, office, classrooms, kitchen and barrier-free washrooms.”

Gone in the new design is the former fire place in the basement, an elegant structure 10- to 15-feet wide.
Just when the new church will be ready for Sunday services is not know. “We haven’t set a point, partly because of finances,” Wicks said. “Insurance has given us some money. They give you the depreciated value of what they deem the building to be. So we have that. We are working with that to start with, and of course some gifts.”

Wicks said some of the work on construction is through volunteer efforts. “We have a couple men that are gifted in those kinds of things,” he said. “They are helping out.”

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