Gan Matthews, News 9
MOORE, Oklahoma -- A Moore church that went through a fiery trial has now risen from the ashes. In June 2009, a fire destroyed the Hope Adventist Fellowship building.
"It tested our faith a little bit," said Pastor Jason Watts. "But it think it's certainly made it stronger, especially in the fact that God says that he's always faithful."
A man named Richard Arnold pleaded guilty to setting the fire. He's now in prison.
Since the fire, the Hope Fellowship has worshiped at the Highland Baptist Church in Moore.
But now Hope's new and enlarged sanctuary is ready for worship. To some, the fire was almost a blessing in disguise.
"Before our church burned, we were bursting at the seams," said member Jana Jennings. "So it's nice that we have room to grow and be comfortable."
In the intervening months, the Hope congregation has prayed for strength. The pastor said the congregation has also prayed for the man who set fire to their old building.
"We love the guy. Our heart goes out to him that he's in the situation that he's in," said Pastor Watts.
On Saturday the congregation will say hello to a new building and a new pastor. Jason Watts is stepping down, but he's happy that his church has a new place to worship and new hope as well. Hope's members will dedicate the new building during a Saturday worship service at 10:30 a.m.