A Church out of the Ashes

Someone once said, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and how this was true for Shoemaker Ridge Church. When Roy returned from his first trip to Shoemaker Ridge, he shared with me the pictures he had taken. These pictures displayed the scenes of burnt rubble, trash, crumbled ceiling, smoke-charred walls with windows broken out and glass all around this current Shoemaker Ridge Church.  As he showed me pictures of the devastated structure, my heart was also devastated. These ruins had been a church.

Once it had been a sacred place where the presence of the Lord had dwelled.  At one time a congregation had gathered each Sunday to worship.  The people had prayed, sung hymns of praise to the Lord, and listened to the message of holiness as it was preached from the pulpit. This had been a place where sinners had been saved, Christians had wept tears for loved ones as well as for themselves, and gave praises to Him for answered prayers.  No doubt people had worshipped the Lord “in the beauty of holiness”.   Now…nothing left but the ashes of what used to be.  Without a vision the people perish and they had perished.

However, one man had a vision of rebuilding this structure into a dwelling place for the Lord.  He shared his vision with others.  Just as in Isaiah 41:6 & 7, men encouraged one another to put their talents to work for the Lord.  The place of worship was restored on Shoemaker Ridge.  On Easter Sunday, in a matter of months after seeing the devastated building, we worshipped again in the beauty of His tabernacle.  He had raised this church out of the ashes and once again, people came to lift up His name above all names at Ridge Chapel on Shoemaker Ridge.  With prayers and supplications, this time Ridge Chapel will not perish.

Sue Lauter


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