It’s been a month since two separate fires destroyed two historic churches in Douglas. Now, the congregations of First Presbyterian Church and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church are having their services at Grace United Methodist Church.
We play musical pews, Pastor Michele Kelley of Grace United Methodist Church said.
On Sundays, each of the congregations have a one-hour service in the sanctuary. Kelley said she offered to share the space while the fire was still burning because it was the right thing to do.
Its the right thing to do. Thats the short story, its the right thing to do, said Kelley. We know each other and these are friends. It wasnt something strange or something we wouldnt feel comfortable with.
Jacqui Phagan is a member of St. Stephen’s congregation and says she’s thankful the Methodist church offered to share their space because it allows her and the congregation to worship in their own town.
I think that the opportunity to stay here, that the Methodist church gave us was wonderful. Much better to be here on our home territory, said Phagan.
St. Stephen’s has been holding their services since the second week after the fires.
Kelley said coming together and supporting each other is the Douglas thing to do.
Douglas is community,” said Kelley. “Its an understanding that these are neighbors. And you may not go to the same churches they do. You may not live next door to them but they are our neighbors.
Plans for the destroyed buildings are still up in the air. Phagan said the rubble needs to be removed the where St. Stephen’s was, but the hope is that they will be able to use the parish hall since that wasn’t damaged by the fire.
Kelley said the other two congregations can use the space for as long as they need.