ARLINGTON, Va. (7News) — One of the most historic churches in Arlington, Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, didn’t let a Friday morning fire disrupt their plans for worshipping and gathering in person Sunday morning.
They moved their church service outside.
On this Sunday morning, you wouldn’t know by looking at their faces what happened here just two days ago on Friday morning at the oldest continuously used church in Arlington.
“There was a fire in the attic of our northern building,” Pastor Sarah Keeling said. “We are extremely grateful that it wasn’t any worse. We are so grateful we didn't need an ambulance. Nobody got hurt because nobody was here."
This isn’t the first time this church has been tested by fire.
SEE ALSO | 'Outpouring of love': community support after two-alarm fire at historic Arlington church
“This is the second fire. There was one many decades earlier,” said Roy Beck, a church member.
And it’s not the first time this church has overcome challenges.
"In many ways, we are prepared to remember that the church is not just the building, that it’s the community that however and wherever we are gathered. It’s a lesson we are going to take with us,” Keeling said.
Pastor Sarah’s message focused on hope, resiliency, and generosity. And she says after Friday's fire there are new stories of gratitude.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support,” she said.
“We’re always happy to have people from any direction,” Beck said. “This is a kind of place where people who are seeking and searching, not sure of themselves, can feel very comfortable here.”
And Sunday, the message also focused on when unpredictable challenges come your way. Don’t lose heart.
Mount Olivet United Methodist Church is continuing its season of giving. And they are collecting nonperishable food donations for families this Thanksgiving. You can learn how to give at the church’s website.