Posted by: mollyrossiter | January 22, 2009

Welcome home

The congregation at Parkview Evangelical Free Church in Iowa City is scheduled to be officially back in its building in time for Sunday’s services.

The church, like dozens of others in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and other communities along the Cedar and Iowa rivers, was damaged by flooding in June. Several feet of water took over the 50,000 square foot building, and the congregation temporarily relocated to West High School in Iowa City.

The Rev. Jeff Gilmore, senior pastor at Parkview, said that through the flood recovery congregations in the area have been reminded of an important fact: “We have relearned a wonderful lesson that the church is not the building, the church is the people,” he said. “We still want the ‘church’ to be out of the building, even though we are back inside.”

Parkview isn’t the first church to return to its building, nor is it the last. Many congregations are still in “transitional housing” awaiting construction or demolition of buildings.  Some have returned to original buildings, others have found new locations. Some congregations had quiet ceremonies to mark their return, others threw grand celebrations.

It’s not just the congregation that is rejoicing — it’s the community at large. With each returning congregation, business and homeowner these communities get one step closer to recovery.



  1. There ARE so many churches going through the same thing. Mt. Zion in Cedar Rapids comes to mind, for me. Attending the service there is so inspiring – not only because of the message, but also the motivation and will power of it members. Well done, Molly. Thanks for this great reminder about the true meaning of recovery.

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