A California pastor announced that the church he leads will continue to meet for Sunday services despite its building being damaged by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake last month.
Inspectors arrived at the church before its Christmas Day services on Dec. 25, just five days after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake. Following the inspector’s visit, the church’s education wing and the downstairs were marked for “limited entry,” meaning that no services can be held there even though items can be removed.
The earthquake also moved the church’s interior walls about five inches – which remain displaced. The outside walls also shifted but have returned to their original position.
Sanderson’s father, Edward, who formally led Rio Dell as pastor for 22 years until his son succeeded him in 1992, noted that the area had experienced a series of experiences at the time.
He also noted how expensive earthquake insurance is and said the repairs for the church would likely cost around $100,000. The church had recently spent $12,000 on a new roof.
“Now we have a different goal and different numbers,” he said.
No church members were hurt during the earthquake, though some of their homes were damaged.
Sanderon told the Baptist Press that the church will still hold services in the sanctuary even with several modifications.
“Everything will be there,” said Sanderson. “Sunday School, meetings. We’re probably going to move some tables from the fellowship hall in there until we can get something resolved for classrooms.”
The pastor also shared that the Dec. 25 service was a time of reflection in addition to worship.
“This has taught us some things,” he said. “What to prioritize, how important we are to each other. Our people have talked about how it has led them to be closer.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.