BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
CLEARFIELD - Clearfield Community Church is emerging from the ruins of last year’s fire.
The west wing of the church was destroyed in a fire on March 19, 2013, but the congregation is rebuilding it on the same footprint as the original church.
In a Dec. 18 report from the Building Committee, Richard Axmann told members, “The exterior walls of the sanctuary were raised ... Once again it looks like a church is emerging from the ruins.”
The excitement felt by Axmann can almost be felt in his report in which he says that the corner where the church is located is no longer empty.
“It is imposing. The panels soared to the blue sky. Everything was looking up.”
It’s not just Axmann whose joy is evident.
“Sometimes there’s a collective gasp and then yeas as members see photos of where we are in the building process,” the Rev. John Parsley said.
Parsley, who pastors the congregation, said members are shown photos nearly every Sunday of the progress on the building at 500 East and 200 South in Clearfield.
The basement is now framed in and the sub-floor is in. The outside walls of the sanctuary and the narthax (gathering area) are up, framing is beginning, and some plumbing is being done, Parsley said.
“The optimistic view is that we’re pretty much right on schedule,” he said. “The weather’s been cooperating. It’s been interesting to see the men show up in 10 degree weather and go ahead and work.”
If things remain on schedule, the church should be ready by late summer or early fall. Members are looking at possibly holding two or three events at that time to celebrate.
While funding dropped off some after the initial response, Parsley said he believes that is also still on schedule.
When the church reopens, Parsley said those attending will see a new building, even though it’s being built essentially on the same footprint.
The church was formed in 1945 by a group of Protestants stationed at Hill AFB and the Navel Depot during World War II, according to a history of the church.
The first building was dedicated on Oct. 3, 1948. Since then, there have been several changes and additions.
As a community church drawing members from a variety of faith backgrounds, the congregation’s worship style is flexible, Parsley said.
When the building reopens members will find everything from state-of-the-art, cutting edge tools for worship to the more traditional, incorporating everything from guitars to a Yamaha Clavinova (a digital piano), Parsley said.
One thing those attending will notice that is different will be the lighting.
Currently, members meet weekly at Wasatch Elementary School, 270 E. Center Street, Clearfield, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to join the worship service.
School officials have worked with the church, allowing the congregation to use extra space on Sunday to facilitate both worship and Sunday School classes.
“They have a commons area that we used as a model for our Christian Education area,” Parsley said.
Clearfield City has allowed the church to use temporary office space in its Community Arts Center, not far from the church.