FIRE UPDATE Decemberr 11, 2016
It's been nearly 100 days since the former chapel at RMBC was set fire, and we as a church family began a journey we did not choose to be on. While this was not what we would have choosen God has continued to show Himself our faithful soverign.
At our Congregaitonal Meeting on november 17, we shared that the damage costs have amounted to roughly 2 millionn dollars. A little over 1.8 million will be covered by our insurance claim, leaving nearly $200,000 that we as a church will need to raise to complete the repairs and remodeling of all the areas effected by the fire. We praise God for these numbers as we were anticipating our part to be much higher.
We also announced that we will be working with Yanez Construction for the duration of this project. Please continue to pray for this team of workers; for their insight and skill, as well as their safety during the construction process. Also pray for opportunities to share the gospel with our new friends.
As of this writing, we are on pace to be able to reoccupy all buildings by June 2017. This is 3 months earlier than we were anticipating, and again give priase to the Lord that we will have the full use of our facility sooner than we hoped.
I amin cluding several Before and After pictures below to mark the progress to this point. In Fellowship Hall we have some lighting to finish as well as HVAC to get installed. We hope to have HVAC operational by end of January.Work on the former chapel and main office, what will now become our office complex is on going. Walls in the former west ed area are also being constructed. We had anticipated that the exterior wall in the alley was going to have to come completely down and be fully rebuilt. However, our construction team has only had to reconstruct a small portion of the alley wall, sealing the smoke and odor in the remaining part of the structure. The former chapel floor has been jackhammered up near the entrance in order to prep the sloped floor for becoming level.
We have much to be thankful for:
- Lower than expected costs to RMBC
- Total reconsturction remains ahead of schedule
- Permits from City of Reedley have come through ina timely manner
- God is continuing to build unity within our church, and a growing excitement for our future is building
Please continue to pray that we would not be distracted by this project, but keep our eyes focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ, proclaiming His gospel and Kingdom, and seeking to lead others to Christ.
Fellowship Hall BEFORE
Alley Wall BEFORE
Alley Wall AFTER
Former Chapel Floor - Current
FIRE UPDATE November 11, 2016
I apologize for going a month without an update; but as you will read, we have been accomplishing a great deal.
Fellowship Hall is back online, and as I speak, the windows are being installed. This brings Fellowship Hall to nearly 100% completion over the last month.
The rest of the areas effected (former chapel, former main office, former West Ed), are all in the process of final deconstruction. Floors/ceilings are being removed in the former chapel and West Ed areas. This is preparation for the east wall in the alley to come down, main structure to be reconstructed, and wall to be rebuilt.
Drawings have gone to the city of Reedley and a building permit secured.
As we announced this past Sunday, a congregational meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17 at 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall, to give an overall update on the project, and present the numbers for cost as we have them. We hope you will make time to be with us and join us as we move forward.
We continue to thank God for His goodness and provision for us. As I've been thinking about the last 70+ days since the fire occurred, I was reminded of Jospeh and His brothers at the death of Jacob. Fearing that Jospeh would strike out in retribution for their treatment of him (Genesis 37), Joseph's brothers come to him asking forgiveness (Genesis 50:15-17). It's Jospeh's response that has struck me as I think on our situation. He says in Genesis 50:19, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." My RMBC family, evil was meant against us on August 27, not a horrific evil, but evil none-the-less. Yet, as we are seeing, God has purposes in all things, and perhaps a purpose here has been not merely to update facilities that we have been blessed with, but to renew our own commitment to take the gospel to our community, utilizing the tools God has graced us with. I am excited to see what God is going to do, to hear of the lives that are being "kept alive" because we as a part of God's people in Reedley, will respond to our community with the power and love of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have much to be thankful for, and much to praise God for. He is on the move, and we have the privilege of moving forward with Him.
- Pastor Malcolm
FIRE UPDATE October 9, 2016
A lot of work continues to be done on campus, however this week, it was mostly behind the scenes, yet critical, work.
Abatement has been completed in all areas, which means deconstruction in the most heavily affected places can begin. We are still on track for Fellowship Hall to be usable by the end of October. One thing that Fellowship Hall will not have for some time will be heat/air conditioning. As we knew, HVAC in both buildings also had very heavy smoke damage and need to be replaced. However, the size of the units are not such that we can purchase from a store. They are custom built to the needs and specifications of the buildings themselves. My understanding at this time is that the units have been ordered, but they take several months to build and arrive, then installation can begin. All this to say, we are looking forward to having Fellowship Hall back and are thinking through solutions for heat/air conditioning until the HVAC unit(s) can be installed. Pray for God's favor as we move forward in these areas, pray also for all of the workers that we have on our campus.
Our drawings for reconstruction are out to engineering and should be completed in 1 to 2 weeks. We are also drawing nearer to knowing what our claim for insurance will be. Please continue to pray for both of these processes.
Church, God is at work and continuing to sustain us through this time. Continue to pray for unity and revival as a church.
Below are some pictures from the Fellowship Hall, and the Choir room.
FIRE UPDATE October 2, 2016
We continue to be very busy around the church in the aftermath of the chapel fire. We continue to see God's blessing and provision in the midst of everything that is going on.
- Abatement in Fellowship Hall has completed. As you have come to the campus in the last week you should have noticed that windows in Fellowship Hall have been removed along with the coping on the outside of the building. New windows have been ordered which will be double-paned and not able to be opened. The windows will be in the style of the windows in the Student Center. Inside Fellowship Hall, we are upgrading all lights to LED, and rewiring the lights so that they will all be dimmable. Further, all wood paneling has been removed and new walls are being floated. As of today, we are still on track for having the Fellowship Hall usable by the end of of October.
Abatement work in the former chapel has also completed. With the area gutted, we are now able to see much more clearly the extent of the damage we are dealing with. Work will stop in the chapel while abatement continues in the former West Education wing. Once that is completed, our understanding is that we will begin deconstruction work. We are still on track to begin reconstruction in Late November or early December.
Please continue to pray for wisdom in this project as we move forward. Thank you for your flexibility and for your patience. Pray also for unity to grow among our body and for revival to come.
FIRE UPDATE FOR Weekend, SEPTEMBER 16-18, 2016
- We have 6 portable bathrooms on campus. They are located in the alley at the north end of campus near the Children’s Center. There are 3 men’s and 3 women’s bathrooms.
- A tent has been installed on the Green. We will use this for the next several weeks as our provisional Fellowship Hall. We do plan to have our Fellowship Meal Wednesday, September 21, under the tent.
- The temporary office building, located next to the basketball courts, should be ready for occupancy next week, September 19.
- Abatement work has begun on the Fellowship Hall. Please do not enter that building until an “all clear” has been given. Abatement work should last approximately 8-10 days in Fellowship Hall.
- Chapel Fire Informational Meeting: Sunday September 18, from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. As we’re approaching the need to begin to make definite plans, and desiring to get input from the congregation, we will host an “Open House” style to tour the chapel, West Ed building, and Main Offices, this Sunday (9/18), to help set in perspective the scope of the project we have before us. Members of the Building Committee will be available to listen to input and field questions.
Fire Update, Tuesday, September 13, 2016
A quick update today to say thank you to all who prayed for the waiver from the Air Board. I spoke with them yesterday, and the waiver has been granted. This means abatement areas will begin Thursday, September 15. Thank you again for praying. All regular Wednesday Night Activities (Fellowship Meal and AWANA) will take place in the Fellowship Hall as normal. We are in need of volunteers to assist in cleaning out the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. If you can help, please come on by. Adult Sunday School classes meeting in the Fellowship Hall are being reassigned to other spaces. This will take effect this Sunday, September 18. All Wednesday Night activities are expected to continue as scheduled, we will simply be moving dinner to a tent that will be erected on the Green.
Pads were poured today at the location of the temporary office trailer, and we hope to be granted an occupancy permit by the end of the week.
Thank you again for your continued prayer, patience, and flexibility. Please continue to pray for the unity of RMBC, and that we will not be deterred from our mission of making disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fire Update, Saturday, September 10, 2016
It's been another busy week learning the full extend of the damages we have sustained. Every day brings new information and challenges. As you come to the campus on Sunday, you will see that temporary offices have been moved onto the grass area near the basketball courts. We are hopeful to be able to move all 8 of our displaced staff members in to those office within the next week. As we say often, we'll share new information as we have it.
We have also found out this week that we will be losing access to the entire Fellowship Hall for approximately 6 weeks. There is work that must occur in this area as there was smoke damage, primarily in the ceilings. The Fellowship Hall will not require a full gutting, however, what we understand is that all surfaces that have popcorn ceilings, will need to be scraped, cleaned, primed and painted. Initially we believed this was just in the main open areas of eh Fellowship Hall, but late this week we discovered that it would also need to include all classrooms in the Fellowship Hall. We are working to minimize the amount of down time we will have with Fellowship Hall, and hope that it will again be ready for full use before the end of October. What will help to speed this along is if we are able to get a 10 day waiting time for abatement waived by the Air Control Board in our area. I (Pastor Malcolm) have been calling them and pleading our case since Friday; would you pray with me that we will have favor with the Air Board and they will waive the 10 day waiting period, so work can begin immediately.
With this development we have the first of what we anticipate being many opportunities for the congregation to volunteer to serve in this rebuilding project. We need to clear everything out of Fellowship Hall by the end of THIS Wednesday, September, 14. This means all tables, chairs, ministry supplies, Sunday School class supplies, and all other things we find, need to be moved out so that we can continue to use these supplies while Fellowship Hall is having work done. if you are able/willing to volunteer, can you please fill out the information to the right under VOLUNTEER, and let us know you can be there this Wednesday.
Thank you again for your patience and prayers. Please continue to pray for the staff as we now have 7 more Adult Sunday School classes, as well as Wednesday night activities to accommodate and find rooms for while Fellowship Hall is unusable. God continues to provide for us in this time, and we are confident will provide here as well.
We are still waiting for the insurance adjuster to provide us with what they believe the full claim will be. He has been working very hard on this claim, and seeking to get as much detail as possible. His name is Scott and I encourage you to pray for him to have wisdom and endurance as he works on our claim.
Please also continue to pray for Yanez Construction. They have worked tirelessly to pack, clean, and prepare our buildings for the next steps to move us toward rebuilding and restoration.
Finally, pray for wisdom among our church leaders as we begin to form a Building Committee for the rebuild. Vince Balakian has graciously agreed to be the project manager and will be working with the Building Committee to move us forward as quickly, efficiently, and in Christ-honoring ways as possible. Pray for their discernment as they listen to ideas and think about what will best serve God's church here it RMBC for the next several decades.
Thank you for your prayers and continued patience as we move forward.
- Pastor Malcolm
Fire Update, Friday, September 2, 2016:
- We have had a very busy week cleaning and relocating offices, assessing the full extent of damages, and beginning to make plans for the future. We are awaiting reports from the insurance adjuster regarding the estimated totals for rebuilding. As we understand at this time, the Chapel, Main Offices, West Education Wing, South Breezeway including Men’s and Women’s bathrooms will all need to be completely gutted and redone. I have asked Church Council and Trustees to meet together on Tuesday, September 6 to begin discussions of what to rebuild in those spaces. Please pray for us in this process. We also understand that the open areas in Fellowship Hall will also require the ceilings to be scraped, cleaned, primed, and painted. Further, the ceiling tiles in Fellowship Hall will also need to be changed. We have an office trailer on order for delivery next week, and hope to be able to occupy it by mid-September. The kitchen is currently undergoing a deep cleaning, and will be available for use by Monday. Eight of us have been displaced from our offices, and are either working from home, or spread out in the Student Center. Estimates for completion of this project and a return to some normalcy are between 9 and 12 months, if not a little longer depending on work flow and what we choose to do. Again, we ask for patience and grace; we need to extend this as a staff to one another, and need it extended from you all as church family. In short time, deconstruction of the areas listed above will begin. This will likely mean that there will be areas that are open now which will not be open during deconstruction and construction. We will work to make areas as assessable as possible. But please do honor when areas are closed off by not going into those areas. Your safety, and especially the safety of our children are of critical importance.
In terms of programming, we are moving forward as scheduled. Fellowship Meals and AWANA will begin this Wednesday as scheduled. This will mean that we will need to move groups around, and are seeking to accommodate as best we can with the loss of these rooms. Again, please be patient with us as we seek solutions that serve all parties involved.
I am aware that the news outlets continue to say that damages are estimated at $200,000. You need to know that is a number that was listed on the initial report report filed by the fire department as part of their paperwork; it was neither an official estimate nor a real estimate, and certainly not the fault of the fire department. But ignore that number, as we are being told it will be substantially higher given the losses the fire has caused. There are many things to thank God for, and many things to pray for.
Give thanks to God that this was not worse. Our fire department did an outstanding job of responding quickly in the middle of the night, and getting this extinguished in a timely manner.
Give thanks to God that no one was hurt.
Give thanks to God for our leaderships foresight in sufficient insurance coverage.
Give thanks to God for His providing for our financial needs so abundantly this past year. This will be a help as we move forward.
Pray for those who set the fire, that we might have opportunity to witness to them for the gospel.
Pray that our response and forward movement will be a witness in our community.
Pray for wisdom and discernment as we move forward and make decisions that will effect the future of ministry at RMBC.
Pray for Kingdom growth as a result of this fire. Often in the Bible fire is used as an image of refining God’s people. May we be refined gloriously to God’s praise and Jesus’ exaltation.
Buildings are not what makes us the church; men and women, boys and girls committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting in Him alone for salvation, going out and making disciples, living in fellowship and peace with one another - that is the Church! And we will be a church that continues on mission.
— Pastor Malcolm