Almost every Sunday for nearly a year, the congregation from Baldwin United Methodist Church has held services at Singerly Fire Companies station on Elkton-Newark Avenue.
The company has allotted the Baldwin group space to store hymnals and other items needed to conduct a religious service inside a fire house. The use of the space is in appreciation of the many years that Baldwin members helped out at fire company events.
That will soon change. The church members will be back where they belong.
On Sunday, December 6, 2015, an early morning fire ripped through the church. The fire went to two alarms and was later ruled as arson by investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
"The investigation has revealed the fire was incendiary in nature and intentionally set in the interior of the church," reported the fire marshal's office. It remains an unsolved arson.
In April of this year, demolition crews began removing the remnants of the building. Damage was estimated at $300,000.
In mid-September, a building permit was issued on behalf of Nowland Associates, the contractor.
The new church building is being constructed on the same footprint. The foundation and slab of the church are being used.
Within a two week period from the beginning of construction, the building was up.
The building permit allows for reconstruction of the lower level fellowship hall and the first floor worship hall and sanctuary. A handicap lift will also be installed.