Kewanee community comes together after church fire

A week has gone by since Zion Lutheran church caught on fire. Tomorrow will be the first day the congregation will not meet there to have service. But that’s not stopping them.

“Just because we don’t have a building doesn’t mean the church doesn’t go on, just like they say it, it’s not a building, it’s the people. And our congregation is going to be living that,” says Zion Lutheran Pastor, David Schweppe.

The congregation is going to be living that way for awhile. Pastor David Schweppe  was hoping they would be able to get back into the church soon, but it’s not looking too good. There’s a lot of smoke and water damage. Karyn Carton grew up in the church.

“It’s just its home. It’s, there’s definitely a friendly atmosphere here at Zion. And the people here are willing to help in anyway if there is ever a need,” says Carton.

But since the fire, other churches and people from the community have stepped in to help. Several of other congregations have offered their church for Zion Lutheran to use.

“It’s such a blessing to see this outpour from people who don’t come to this congregation but who just happen to come by and see how you know see how everybody was lifting us up in prayer,” says Carton.

“Everybody comes together to lift up those who are in need and right now our church is experiencing that but we also know that once we’re done we’re going to be going right back out there and helping others,” says Pastor Schweppe.

Carton says even though they will not be able to have service at their church tomorrow, she thinks they will still have a good number of people attend.

“We’ve had a lot of people say we’ll be there Sunday so I’m excited to see how many people are going to show up,” says Carton.

Despite everything the church has lost, they’re optimistic for the future.

“It’s sad to see you know everything that is lost but yet it’s kind of cool to see the possibility; you know the new things that will come from this,” says Carton.

Zion Lutheran will hold their Sunday service at Wethersfield Elementary School gym in Kewanee until further notice.

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