Church holds Sunday service in aftermath of fire


CLINTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Pastor Nick Blacklidge has been with Clinton Assembly of God for more than eight years. He never imagined he would preach in front of piles of rubble.

“We can’t sit in the ashes forever and mourn. We have to rebuild now,” said Blacklidge.

Part of the church building burned to the ground last week Tuesday, and along with it, countless memories.

“My father came here as the pastor in ’87 and he pastored until 2003,” said Dianne Remay. “My children grew up here.”

Remay leads the music at the church. She has for for 33 years. And again, on Sunday, she led people in song as she does every week, but this time, the music struck a different chord.

“[It’s amazing] to hear the people raise their voices in praise…knowing that God is our answer. He’s the one that we turn to in all situations, and He’ll bring us through this victoriously,” said Remay. “You just realize that church is not a building. It’s the people. The people come together to help one another out.”

A local construction company donated the tent and chairs to make the service possible, but that is just the beginning to rebuilding.

“We’re going to be going through an incredible journey here, and we just have to trust that God will take care of us through that,” said Pastor Blacklidge.

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