Churchgoers Say Fire Won't Slow Them Down

Church members
Church members
Nora Wilson
Nora Wilson

(KHNL) - Their church was destroyed by fire, but followers at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Waianae say it was actually a blessing in disguise.

"It's actually more exciting to be together, and meet other members and be with the fellowship," said church member Jennifer Spencer.

The fire at their church last Tuesday is forcing as many as a thousand members to go to Makakilo for Sunday service, sharing the church with another ward.

"We're blessed with a good building to leave in," said church member Ruth Brown. "You leave a little bit earlier, but go to church."

Their facility on Plantation Road was destroyed. The fire lasted about a half hour, but caused $2.5 million in damage.

"We become stronger from these actions," said church member Juliana Burgess. "It doesn't stop the gospel and doesn't stop us from, coming up here."

"There's no bouncing back," said Brown. "We just keep going on."

Church leaders say services at the stake were the same as any other Sunday, just a little more crowded. Members are confident they can turn this negative into a positive.

"There's nothing wrong with us," said church member Nora Wilson. "We know the church is true. There is nothing to worry about."

Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set. No arrests have been made yet.

Church leaders say they hope to start re-construction by the end of the year, and re-open the church by next summer.