The demolition of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, in Douglas, is underway. The remains are being knocked down and hauled away by a contractor company out of Tucson.

I think the first part of the clean up, when they actually exposed the middle of the church was harder on me, personally, than the fire, President of St. Stephen’s Congregation, Jacquie Phagan said.

By the end of the week, all that will remain standing are the perish hall and a concrete slab. The perish hall wasn’t touched by the fire, but the electricity and gas are turned off because of the fire. Phagan said the congregation will use the perish as their sanctuary once they are able to enter the building.

Its going to take awhile to get the Perish hall in shapebut until then were going to stay at the Methodist Church,” she said. “Were very happy there.

Phagan said using the parish hall is the best option because it’s a good size for them and the space being cleaned up will be turned into something the community can use.

They definitely want us to stay here as a church on this corner,” she said. “To build a church based on what we had back in the glory days doesnt seem feasible.

St. Stephen’s is looking for a pastor since Father Caleb Collins left the southern Arizona churches, which will prolong them having services – other than morning worship.

While St. Stephen’s had too much damage to restore the building, their neighbor First Presbyterian Church is hoping they can save part of the building.

In our case part of it is salvageable,” minister of First Presbyterian Church, Peggy Christiansen, said. “So its taking a very long time for us to get all of the estimates together.

Because the congregation and ministers want to try and preserve the three standing walls, they have to find a contractor who is able to do the work.

The first thing that has to happen is we have to have the structure braced, in order for anybody to be able to do the clean up inside, Christiansen said.

Despite the hardships the fires have caused, both churches are continuing to worship in the area and are serving the community like they were before the incident. Christiansen said they are continuing to have their food back and give away food to those who need it.