Two Years After Fire, Church Rebuild Breaks Ground

The Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church in Brewster, Massachusetts, was burned on Nov. 30, 2012. Sunday, two years to the day later, a groundbreaking ceremony was held.

Pastor Myron Heckman leads his congregation in singing "Amazing Grace." His excitement is a different feeling from two years ago, to the day, when he saw his Brewster, Massachusetts, church burn down to the ground.

"I was in shock, it was hard to take it in," he said. "I think if I had known all that was going to come from that, I would have collapsed on the ground right there."

But now, Heckman has a smile on his face, and his church is breaking ground to build a bigger facility.

For the past two years, Cape Cod Bible Alliance congregation stood behind its pastor's faith.

"We've been concentrating a lot on a scripture that talks about beauty for ashes," said parishioner Erica Powell. "Out of these ashes is going to come something very beautiful."

A 30-year-old man was charged and sentenced for arson. His family told parishioners he suffered from mental illness.

Powell says she couldn't find it in her heart to hold a grudge.

"We've all been given a second chance, and that's why we're part of this church," she said. "God is a god of second chances."

Heckman's congregation has taken this test and turned it into a testimony for the Brewster community. There is one lesson the whole church body has learned from this situation.

"In all the changes that go on, God doesn't change," he said. "Trials can make us bitter or make us better, and we want this to make us better having gone through this."

After Sunday's groundbreaking ceremony, the church will figure out when construction will be completed on the new facility. They are expecting that to be done within a year and a half.

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