A New Beginning for St. Elmo UMC

by Jim Kumorek

(The following article was published in Worship Facilities Magazine, February 2013. St. Elmo’s United Methodist Church, a CDH Partner’s Inc. project, received a 2012 Solomon Award for Church Architecture.) 

August 23, 2009, is a date the congregation of St. Elmo United Methodist Church (UMC) will not soon forget. This was the day when their facility was ravaged by a fire believed to have started with the structure’s original knob-and-tube wiring, according to Michael White, project manager for the Strauss Co. in Chattanooga, Tenn., retained to rebuild the facility following designs from architectural firm CDH Partners based in Marietta, Ga.

“The loss we experienced was tremendous,” comments Rev. Dr. Mark Dowell, pastor of St. Elmo, in an interview conducted by CDH Partners. “It’s hard to put into words. It was a loss of a place we loved.”

Through the generosity and support of other churches in the community, St. Elmo was able to continue its church services in other venues throughout the three-year process of rebuilding. This enabled the church building committee to take the time necessary to evaluate its options and make wise decisions on how to proceed. Please continue reading

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