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Church holds first service since fire

A congregation in Susquehanna County met for services Sunday for the first time after a fire destroyed their church Thursday.

SOUTH MONTROSE, Pa. — Members of a church in Susquehanna County met for services on Sunday morning in an unconventional setting.

A fire destroyed the church building last week, but its members were undeterred.

RELATED: Flames destroy church in Susquehanna County

In the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus says, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

If that's true, He was certainly along Vandermark Road in Dimock Sunday morning.

People gathered for a Holy Luau like it was nothing. You'd never know what this church of people had been through just days before.

"God's timing is impeccable," said Laura Kincade with South Montrose Community Church.

The Hawaiian-themed party was already planned as the church picnic, but instead, the pavilion replaced pews, and South Montrose Community Church members met for services here.

"We know that this isn't the end, the church isn't the building, it is the people, and we're still here, we're still worshipping, and we're still here to do whatever God plans for us to do," said Kincade.

Prior plans were upended in South Montrose on Thursday night.

Members believe a bolt of lightning to the steeple caused the fire that destroyed the community church along Route 29.  

"I mean, all of the memories, and the things that we have lost there- but we have to look at it as God's plan. Maybe it was time for a change. All we can do is pray for it and keep going," said John Vandermark with South Montrose Community Church.

John Vandermark has been a member of the church for most of his life. So he lent his farm for the impromptu service and said they could gather here as long as needed.

Such a loss sometimes reveals how much there is to celebrate.

"Well, you could either laugh or cry. And we're done crying. So, we're going to laugh," said Vandermark.