From the ashes a church rises


STUARTS DRAFT, Va. (WHSV) — Nearly six months ago, Sherando United Methodist Church in Stuarts Draft suffered a devastating fire that destroyed much of its building.

Since then, the church has come together to continue meeting and advancing its message.

“We don’t have our church, but we did all the activities that we normally would. Just completed a very successful Easter Egg Hunt for the kids,” said Board Chairman Steve Snyder.

Since the October 29 fire, the church has met at the Ruritan Community Center next door.

“We are doing the work of the Lord here in these unusual circumstances and trying to do our best what God has called us to do,” Pastor David Rash said.

In fact, their church family is larger than it was before the fire.

“We actually picked up a few people who hadn’t been to church before, so since we moved here and since the devastating fire, we picked up a few people,” Snyder said.

Snyder and Rash share a similar sentiment: worship is about the message, not the church.

“The Church is not a structure. The church is the people inside the building. While it’s wonderful to have a beautiful sanctuary and we miss it very much and our social hall, the church, it’s the people who make up the church,” Snyder said.

Rash said Easter would be especially special. It’s all about resurrection.

“From the ashes, you might say, we will raise a new church. We will resurrect a stronger church family and we will continue to be there for the community,” Rash said.

That doesn’t mean it was easy.

“It’s hard. There’s no other way to put it. It’s very hard to get through these days,” Rash said.

Going forward, Rash said they plan to rebuild, but it takes time to get there.

“We are working with contractors and architects to design the future building and what it will look like. It will be on the same site, but we still have a lot of work to do to get to that location,” Rash said.

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