A devastating fire at the Salvation Army of Lubbock, near 16th Street and Avenue J, ended 2014 on somewhat of a sour note. Service members, however, said the transformation has been completely positive and what was will come back even better.
"We had a fire right around Christmas time, just shortly after Christmas and we've been basically meeting in a temporary space since then," Salvation Army Captain Robert Parker said. "We are very fortunate that the fire department, which is literally located across the street, was able to respond to quickly and really save the entire building from burning down."
That fire blazed through the chapel destroying it. Today leaders are holding programs down the hall at a combined gymnasium and Fellowship Hall. They still hold all regular activities and services from worship services and ministries to youth programs and teen nights. All are in this new interim worship space. The Parkers said, although nothing has been replaced, they are making things work.
"God is present with us no matter where we are and even in this space, even though it's temporary, even though we're sitting on plastic chairs," Salvation Army Captain Nicole Parker said. "It's a lot of continuous setup and re-setup but we make it work during this time of transition. We print our words that you would normally see in your traditional songbooks, we print those every week. We also have any literature our congregants might need, as well. We're still able to reach the same goal and serve the same God."
"We think that people have been a little bit more comfortable. People who wouldn't be as comfortable coming into a church building feel like they're a little more comfortable coming into our fellowship hall," Captain Robert Parker added.
More than six months after the devastating blaze, the army finally agreed with its insurance company. As of Sunday, July 19, they will receive $400,000. Captain Robert Parker is hopeful the organization will be higher. He plans to make the new chapel just like the old.
"We arrived at that number and we're working with contractors to get the final plans and the revised plans in. We've been assured that we can get it completed before the new year," Captain Robert Parker said. "I think we want to make it special. We have a lot of church members who have been members of the church for a long time so this was really a special space for them. We've been going through a lot of reconstruction in our church and really just building up our foundations. We think this is going to be a really cool, parallel way to celebrate that and, also, be able to celebrate with a new worship space. A new year and a new worship space is going to be something incredible for all of our people to experience."
The Salvation Army plans to open up its new chapel December 24, 2015.
For more information about the Salvation Army of Lubbock, click this link