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York Co. church rebuilds, four years after fire - abc27 WHTM

York Co. church rebuilds, four years after fire

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File photo from 2009 fire File photo from 2009 fire
YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

The 20 acres of empty land in Chanceford Township, York County simply looks like a vacant lot. But to parishioners of Shenberger Chapel United Methodist Church, the empty land is full of hope.

Over four years ago a devastating fire destroyed the 111-year-old congregation and today parishioners broke ground for their new place of worship.

According to fire officials, the February 2009 fire was caused by an electrical problem in the ceiling.

The small spark started a blaze which burnt the entire church down. The only items spared were an alter, a bible and a picture of Jesus.

According to Pastor Patricia Bollinger, the new church called New Water's Edge United Methodist Church was inspired by a story in the Old Testament.

"The miracle occurred when they trusted God enough to step into the river and the bed was dry and they stood on dry land.  So we're taking a leap of faith here in building this new site here," Bollinger said.

New Water's Edge will be a combination of the former Shenberger Chapel and its sister church, Craley. 

Sunday's groundbreaking will start phase one of construction. Plans include building a room for church services and crews hope to have this phase open for Easter services next year.

Eventually, the church plans to expand and host events for the community.

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