Rebuild: What Do You Do When The Church Burns Down?

Despite the tragedy of the fire, a great number of friends stepped up to support the church and allow them to continue holding services while the church could move forward and rebuild.

Rebuild: What Do You Do When The Church Burns Down?
Grace Point Church, in San Antonio, Texas, shortly following a fire that destroyed their church building (left), a sketch of the reconstructed worship center (center), and the space being used for a recent worship service (right).

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Rebuild: What Do You Do When The Church Burns Down?

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I never thought going through a catastrophic fire would be a part of the gig as the Worship and Creative Arts Pastor at Grace Point Church in San Antonio.

But it was.

Grace Point

Fathers Day 2016

There we were Father’s Day 2016, minding our own business, sitting by the pool hanging out with the family.

All of a sudden, I start getting text messages about the church burning down.


Grace Point

Yikes. I know it’s just a building, but it is pretty freaky to see all of your stuff destroyed.

Grace Point  Grace Point

The Student Building

So, where are we going to have services?

At first we thought, at least we have a nice $2 million student building that is not attached to the main building that is engulfed in flames.

Then we look over at that same building that is supposed to bail us out, and there is water flowing out of it for some reason. As it turns out, the water main burst and ended up flooding that building with about six inches of water.

Holy cow, the hits just keep on coming.

The Hardest Part

We had an incredible team at the time, with some highly capable people who were rip roaring and ready to go, but our hands were tied.

The fire department and the insurance company told us not to do anything. In the Worship and Creative Arts department, we talk a lot about the shark that’s coming, the weekend. It’s always coming and the only way to survive, is to stay ahead of it. We like to operate six to eight weeks out, so now we are back to less than a week and it’s Monday and they are telling us not to make any moves.

It was really hard having a vision and being ready to activate, only to get the stop sign. Plus, time’s a wastin’, but luckily we had some of San Antonio’s most amazing and technical minds step up to help.

Grace Point

Pastor Greg Berry and Caleb Saenz, worship leaders extraordinaire at Grace Point, stepped up to get the ins and outs of a temporary production system designed, and then up and rolling.

Adam Countryman, from Concordia Lutheran down the road, and one of the most amazing worship, production, and technical masters in the country, showed up with an audio system for us to use.

And then David Cheney, from DPC Event Services, set us up a stage and lights and video system.

I mention all of these folks, because of the importance of having a supportive network in your corner when the time comes.

Grace Point

There were so many other friends to step up and support and show love through their actions that I can’t list them all.

Grace Point

God provides, usually through friends.

More About Nathan VonMinden
Nathan VonMinden is the creator of, and has produced and directed hundreds of short films and the award-winning feature documentary Uganda Man (2011). He has spent the last 13 years serving in large churches as a full-time filmmaker and live producer. He currently serves the church by producing films, lyrics videos, and live production. Nathan is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He is currently producing new films about Bible Smuggling and the Challenger disaster.
Get in Touch:    More by Nathan VonMinden

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Article Topics

Team Management · Budgeting · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Volunteers · Church Rebuild · Collaborative · Communication · Creative Arts · Experience · Grace Point Church · All Topics

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