Seventh-day Adventist Church moving forward after fire

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Nearly seven months later, Seventh Day Adventist Church members have a new place to gather inside the temple building.

“It’s a testimony of God’s goodness, his grace and protection over his people and to see how we can rise from the ashes,” said Seventh Day Adventist pastor Hanson Drysdale.

For some the wound is still fresh. This is the first week members have been back together since a massive fire swept through the church on Jefferson Avenue last Christmas, causing significant damage to the building.

“It saddens you every time you look at what has been and where we are now,” Drysdale said.

Drysdale said it’s still difficult to visit his community outreach center across the street from the church.

“You can’t avoid looking across and seeing what’s left,” Drysdale said.

Drysdale says as the community moves forward, the church itself will eventually do the same. He’s exploring avenues but is taking it one day at a time.

“See if we can rebuild 309, we are also exploring options to see if we can buy land to build on to buy an existing church to retrofit, renovate for our needs,” Drysdale said.

Still no word on what caused the fire. The church will continue its services at the temple building four nights a week through mid-August.