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Congregation returns to its own church for the first time since Black Forest Fire

Published On: Jul 21 2013 05:18:06 PM CDT

More than a month after the Black Forest Fire started, one church begins to see signs of normalcy.

Parishioners at the Black Forest Chapel held service Sunday for the first time since the fire started. They said they were thankful for those who offered their space over the last month, but they were glad to be in their own church.

"It feels great," Beverly Rykerd said. "It feels like coming home."

The church's original sanctuary and main auditorium survived the fire. Their activities building burned down, destroying donations members of the congregation planned on taking on a mission trip. The parsonage where youth pastor Jared Earhart and his family lived also burned down. He said it was tough to have his home and memories destroyed, but he's focusing on the positives.

"It's been very cool to see people just blessing us and being very generous towards us since then," he said.

The church hosted a barbecue to thank the community for its support and to open their doors to others who also suffered loss in the fire.


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