We have great news to celebrate and give thanks for. Pastor Korzun was allowed to go into town today (12/2) to assess the condition of our church building. Miraculously, it was totally intact. There was only a slight smell of smoke inside, but everything else was like it was before the Gatlinburg fire last Monday. Even the water and power were on when he went inside. So we were blessed abundantly and have good reason to give extreme thanks this Sunday, when we worship in the Chapel of the Sevierville First Baptist Church at 10:30 AM. Rev. Ben Moravitz, the Assistant to Bishop Gordy will be with us for worship.
Later next week, Bishop Gordy will be coming to Gatlinburg with members of the Lutheran Disaster Response team to survey the damage to the surrounding community and begin to coordinate the recover efforts with Lutheran Disaster Relief. He plans to meet with us while he is here.
A Church located no more than a couple hundred feet behind us was burned to the ground. We will offer those brothers and sisters in Christ a place to worship if they wish to use our church facilities.
There is much that needs to be done in the coming months and years ahead to rebuild Gatlinburg and we will have many opportunities to witness to the love of Christ. The Synod and Church at Large will be with us all the way. Lutherans are known for being the last ones to leave disaster areas, long after all of the media attention has gone away.
The Southeastern Synod Disaster Response Team is currently in communication with Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials and other disaster response agencies.