CC Louisa Recovering from Fire Losses

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Calvary Chapel Louisa, VA, Recovering from Fire Losses

Story by Kathy Symborski
Photos courtesy of Calvary Chapel Louisa, VA

Smoke and flames were seen shooting from the roof of Calvary Chapel Louisa at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 12. The local fire department, a mere block away, responded quickly to save the building, but all the contents of the beloved church on the quaint main street of Mineral, VA, were lost. No one was injured.

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The Calvary Chapel Louisa, VA, sanctuary after a devastating fire on Sunday. In the center, the word Jesus remains in outline on the wall. Despite the loss of all of the church’s possessions, the faithful congregation remains hopeful and positive about the future.

Initially thought to be caused by aged wiring, the fire captain determined a digital instrument on stage was the culprit. “The scorched areas are very bad on that area of the stage,” explained Senior Pastor David Hansen, “and the flames just went up from there.” The fire extended to the wall behind the stage, located at the center of the building, and up through the roof.

The last two years have been challenging for CC Louisa—from David losing his wife to cancer earlier this year, COVID-19, and other illnesses and deaths amongst the congregation. “I have been fighting depression the last year through all this. I try not to present that way, but I’m human. I miss my wife and there’s just so much of what she did in that building. It’s heartbreaking,” David said tearfully. He has clung to Romans 8:18, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. “Even though life has it trials and tribulations, we go forward knowing what is waiting for us.”

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CC Louisa will move this coming Sunday to its new location in Mineral, VA. The pastor of a local church had already offered CC Louisa one of their buildings beginning January 2. Senior Pastor David Hansen exclaimed, “So there is also a sense of excitement because God had already prepared a place for us and prepared our hearts before this happened.”

Experiencing God

Although all contents of the church were “lost” in the fire, hope was not. The entire congregation is saddened because this has been home for six years, but they are not hopeless. David explained, “After 13 years of delivering newspapers every Thursday and Friday, I retired. Word got out that I had free time and I performed six funerals in about five weeks. The last one was at the Nazarene church down the road.” After the funeral, the pastor of the church offered one of their buildings for Sunday services beginning January 2, 2022. “So there is also a sense of excitement because God had already prepared a place for us and prepared our hearts before this happened.”

Almost immediately, local churches offered meeting space and assistance, and individuals called with prayers, also asking where to send donations. Everything in the church was lost: the sound system, chairs, and tables; and music, kitchen, and office equipment. Pastor David is hopeful insurance will replace most items, but labors of love such as treasured artwork and the unique wood and marble coffee bar are irreplaceable.

A joyous shout of praise went up in the congregation after they learned they would be able to meet in the new location next Sunday. “The pastor is letting us use the building on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well, so we can continue our other ministries. Wow, that was God!” David exclaimed.

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Pastor David hopes to salvage the burned building site, to continue CC Louisa’s ministries of an outreach center and coffee shop.

After all the inspections and paperwork are completed, David expects to have a clearer picture of the future of the old church building. “My heart was always to keep the building as the outreach center and coffee bar [and use the new building for Sunday services.] It’s right there on the main street in town, very visible,” David shared. Needless to say, he was overjoyed when the landlord of the old building told him that his heart was to make it a brand-new coffee shop and outreach center. “He wants us to continue with it and make it specific to our needs!” he added.

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Photos of CC Louisa's new church facility.

Burnt Offerings

In the Old Testament, a burnt offering was the complete destruction of the [animal] on the altar. Interestingly, the Hebrew interpretation of burnt offering means, "to cause to ascend" or “go up in smoke,” David shared. Leviticus 1:9b: “an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.” As Christians, we know Jesus was the complete offering for our sin that restored our relationship to God the Father. The congregation of Calvary Chapel Louisa waits in expectant hope as He does a new thing through this “restoration” project. In the meantime, they remain “on fire” for Jesus!

                  

Click to visit Calvary Chapel of Louisa's website
Donations may be sent to Calvary Chapel Louisa, P.O. Box 103, Mineral, VA 23117

                  

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Pastor David and his wife Kim at the Outreach Center last Christmas. In memory of Kim Hansen, January 1, 1972 - March 16, 2021.

 

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2021 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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