PALMDALE – About three months ago, vandals destroyed the Horizon Community Church in Palmdale. During a two-day spree, the trespassers ransacked the church, shattered windows, stole equipment and turned on a fire hose, flooding the majority of the church. (Read more here)
More than $100,000 later, the church is repaired and ready to move forward, according to Pastor K.C. Wahe.
“It feels like a fresh start at the church, a new beginning,” Wahe said. “We’re just grateful to the community because so many people in the community have been an encouragement.”
This past Sunday, services were held in the newly repaired church, Wahe said. The church will formally celebrate its reopening on Sunday, September 8.
“We’re having a rededication of the church sanctuary, it’s going to be our kickoff for the fall, and we’re going to have a barbecue,” Wahe said.
Worship services will begin at 11 a.m. at the church, located at 1850 East Avenue R in Palmdale. The barbecue will follow immediately after the church service.
“The entire community is welcomed to the church and the barbecue,” Wahe said.
He said many in the community offered support to the church in the aftermath of the May vandalism and throughout the lengthy repair process. Church officials originally estimated that vandals had caused about $50,000 in water damage to the floors, rugs, walls, and pews.
That estimate climbed once contractors pulled up the soaked rugs and discovered the church had to be treated for asbestos, Wahe said. Costs then doubled from $50,000 to more than $100,000.
“The majority of the cost was drying the church because of the flooding,” Wahe said. “Everything else was asbestos abatement, replacing the carpet, painting [and] replacing the damaged floor moldings.”
The church’s insurance company covered the cost, and the church relied on a local contractor – Imagination Unlimited, headed by Antelope Valley resident Mike Banfield.
“He knows the church and has history with the church so it was very good to have him,” Wahe said. “He did a great job.”
The congregation held services in its youth center while its sanctuary underwent repairs. The temporary setting brought the congregation closer together, and the entire experience has given members a new perspective, according to Wahe.
“It helped people recognize that it’s not all about a building, it’s about the people that God gathered together,” Wahe said. “And so if anything, it gave them a chance to discern their role in the community.”
In May, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich proposed a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the persons responsible for the vandalism and burglary at the Horizon Community Church. Still, the vandals have not yet been caught.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact Detective Michael Luter at Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2472.
For more information on Horizon Community Church, visit http://www.horizoncommunity.com.
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