Congregation of fire-damaged Mount Zion to discuss future following Sunday service

The western wall of the church's north wing, covered with a piece of plywood, is where investigators believe the fire started.
The western wall of the church’s north wing, covered with a piece of plywood, is where investigators believe the fire started.

With damage from a May 7 fire making its church building unusable, the congregation of Mount Zion Lutheran Church in Mountlake Terrace will be conducting its May 11 Sunday morning service in a small building located on the northwest corner of its property at 21428-44th Ave. W. After the service, church members will meet to discuss the future of the church.

“We will meet this Sunday and have a congregation meeting after the service,” explained Associate Pastor Frank Paine. “At that time I have encouraged the congregation to select a committee of three to investigate our options and make a recommendation to the membership.”

The church building suffered an estimated $300,000 damage from a two-alarm fire that was reported at about 3:25 a.m. on May 7. It took firefighters about an hour to get the large blaze under control. Officials believe a discarded cigarette started the fire, which heavily damaged the north wing of the main church building; most of the roof on that portion of the building is gone. The Mountlake Terrace Building Official has tagged the structure as unsafe.

Work crews have been at the site performing clean-up after the fire. They plan on taking the weekend off and returning on Monday for continuing clean-up efforts.

It’s unknown how the fire and its impact will affect the future of Mount Zion Lutheran Church. “The future is up in the air,” Paine admitted, “but we thought it best to make our first meeting at the church in case there is anyone who did not get the word.”

— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

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