The United Methodist Church in Milford was deliberately set on fire and destroyed, but over a year later a new church is emerging. Construction is under way to make a new United Methodist Church. Reverend Sylvia Barrett talked about how the fire affected church members.
"Unfortunately as it turned out it was arson, so further on down the line we had to deal with that. That somebody would deliberately set fire to the church, and that re-opened the sadness, but we also believe as Christians in forgiveness."
The church not only found it in their hearts to forgive, but Lola Rathbone tells us they have also taken on the responsibility of reaching out to heal those in need.
"When we learned that the unfortunate young man with significant mental health problems burned our building, that we made a commitment to participate in mental solutions for our community."
Since the fire, Rev. Sylvia Barrett says the community has also shown their affection to members of the church.
"It almost brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it because it was their church, and so people would stop me in the street, I’m being hugged, and it was a moment where we came together as a community. I really feel that in my heart that we came together as a community."
An old country store is where the church members come together to pray.
"Nobody talks about it as being the store. Now it’s where we worship, but I was saying to the congregation last Sunday, we’re building a new sanctuary, which is a holy place, a sacred place set aside. This will become our fellowship hall, but it really is where it all began."
Construction of the new United Methodist Church will continue throughout the winter, and is set to open sometime in mid-2019.