By Baptist and Reflector
CHATTANOOGA — On June 27 the church rectory of Northside Community Church here was damaged by fire.
The rectory was home to Mitchell Reaves, pastor, and five members of his family.
The building, which formerly was an educational building and wasn’t needed for church activities, was insured. Repairs have been estimated at about $300,000, reported Reaves.
Work will begin to repair the 10,000-square-foot rectory soon.
Also lost were most of the personal items of the Reaves family, which the insurance company said were covered but were not adequately covered, said the pastor.
The family lost about 75 percent of their possessions. Also lost was most of the pastor’s library.
More importantly, everyone was unharmed and nothing was destroyed that isn’t replaceable, said the pastor.
The day of the fire the family heard a smoke alarm and was able to quickly escape, recalled Reaves. Just a few minutes later the fire department which is located nearby arrived.
The American Red Cross arranged for the family to stay a couple of nights in a motel and the day they were to leave a local family who had been helped by the Chattanooga community after a fire killed two adults in their family paid for the Reaves family to stay in a hotel for about two weeks.
Churches also have sent money to help the Reaves family, which includes two sons and a daughter-in-law.
Amazingly, toward the end of their stay at the hotel the family was contacted by a Baptist friend who offered them use of a “ministry house” if the family would pay the utilities. The older son who also was displaced was given a similar offer by his employer, explained Reaves, who has pastored Northside Community for 16 years. The church draws about 35 people to Sunday morning activities.
“We have been incredibly and abundantly blessed through all of this, and humbled,” reported Reaves.