Members and visitors of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church met for their first Sunday morning service following a fire that caused $300,000 of damage to their church building on May 7. The service, and a congregational meeting that followed, was held in a former parsonage on the church property at 21428-44th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace.
About 20 attendees squeezed into a small meeting room in a building that has up to now been used only as an administrative office for the church. Now the structure has been pressed into duty as a chapel, storage facility for salvageable church items, and meeting space for almost-daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that had previously been occurring in the church’s heavily-damage north wing.
Before the May 7 blaze, the 50-year-old church building had seen little change since it opened in 1964. Now Mt. Zion Lutheran Church leaders and leadership from The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, the church’s denominational parent, are considering what the next steps for the church should be.
Mt. Zion Lutheran Church Associate Pastor Franklin Pierce told those in attendance on Sunday that the sanctuary has significant smoke damage and the church’s organ is a total loss. But the piano and dozens of hymnals will likely be salvageable.
The north wing of the church has major structural damage, most notably in wooden beams that had supported the roof, Pierce said. The City of Mountlake Terrace has tagged the building as unsafe, allowing only clean-up crews and safety personnel into the structure. Workers are expected back on Monday to continue their clean-up efforts.
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski