TEMPERENCE, Mich. (WTVG) - The permits are finished, material has arrived and it's time for construction on a new Bridgepoint Church in Temperance. The old church caught fire in 2017. Work for the new one is now underway.
It will be located at the site of the old one. That's at the corner of Lewis Avenue and Erie road.
As flames raged in March of 2017, destroying the Bridgepoint Church that sat at that location for about 50 years, rebuilding was the furthest thing from anyone's mind.
The congregation found a new place to worship and house its pre-school. Over 2 years later, with equipment moving on the ground, rebuilding is real.
"It's been long, it's been a long hard journey of two plus years. We've seen some people go, some people come. It's been tough," said Lead Pastor Craig Killinen.
Some of those tensions eased this week with an approved building permit. The steel will soon become a house of worship. The site will house a church again.
"There are always going to be obstacles. There is always going to be a choice that we're going to have to make of is this going to knock me down and stay down or am I going to be able to find a way to keep going," said Killinen.
Church leaders now get to create a church they believe will best serve the needs of the community, with surely more details still to work out.
Pastors are not engineers but Pastor Craig got somewhat of a crash course in engineering through this process. For example there was no city waterline before the fire happened but now there are plans to put one in not just for the church but the entire area. Just one more thing that he learned in something he's calling a learning process.
"I think the Lord has definitely been teaching me patience through this process, which I probably need to be taught from time to time," said Killinen.
It’s patience that will pay off when this new church comes to life in august of 2020.
No cause for the 2017 fire was ever determined.