“At Burbank church, I wish we could say we’re putting all this work, energy, and funding into renovating something flashy like our sanctuary,” said Branden Stoltz, Burbank church senior pastor. “Sometimes it’s the hidden things that need our serious attention.”
When the congregation detected water leakage in parts of the church building’s interior this year, they initially thought the leak was significant but manageable. Members were ready to repair any resulting damage to the building themselves; however, after realizing the issue required more attention, they called in a professional to assess the situation. To their surprise, what originally appeared to be superficial damage was confirmed as a bigger problem. Contractors revealed the entire two-story section behind the plaster where the leak was found had rotted due to many years of storms. Ultimately, the roof above the fellowship hall and upstairs classrooms needed replacing.
Soon after, a general contractor was hired to guide the church through replacing the wood, treating the mold, making plans for the redesign of the flat roof, and bringing in the right experts needed to ensure the work done was sufficient—not only to address present concerns but for the longevity of the building.
As of this summer, the interior walls are scheduled for repainting and a temporary roof is in place over the concerning areas. Funds for this project were secured by a loan from the Pacific Union Conference. Additionally, people have donated to the renovation fund in person and through Adventist Giving online.
“I am thankful to God that those in our community, including the other congregations that worship in our church building, have truly trusted in God through this process and supported the work we have in front of us,” Stoltz said.
Burbank church has experienced many changes this year so far. In addition to this renovation project, worship service has been moved to 2 p.m. With this change, Stoltz noted members are “experiencing Sabbath differently, with late breakfasts together, morning nature hikes, and extended personal worship time.” Attendance, which previously remained steady, has begun to increase.
“We’ve seen God’s hand in guiding our church through this less-than-glamorous project, but God leads us in stages,” Stoltz shared. “I think the parallel to our own personal journey with faith is not too different. Sometimes we think the problem we’re experiencing is manageable or that we can fix it by ourselves, but it turns out the damage goes far beyond what we can see and needs God’s expert care to do a complete restoration.”
By Araya Moss