Englewood church continues recovery 2 years after fire

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Plans to rebuild a Bergen County church that was destroyed by a fire two years ago are on their way.

The First Presbyterian Church in Englewood was destroyed by a fire during Holy Week in 2016. Church officials says that they have mostly completed design and development for the new church with plans to start construction in 2019.

An electrical fire sparked the blaze in March 2016.

VIDEO: Chopper 12 over Englewood church fire

“Holy Week brings back memories of that week of the fire, but we are really focused on what happens next,” says Pastor Rich Hong. “We are focused on the resurrection.”

Pastor Hong says that the new designs for the church change many aspects of the hold building. The main entrance to the church will now be located closer to the parking lot.

“It’s just more natural for people to get out of their cars and know immediately where to go,” Hong says.

The church’s chancel will have to be reversed to accommodate that new entrance. Seating will also be reduced from 700 to 450 to make sitting more comfortable. The pews will be closer to the altar.

Church services since the fire have been hold in the church’s gym. Easter Sunday services this year will also be held in that gym.

Pastor Hong says that the church congregants have grown closer during the whole ordeal.

"The past two years have been a reminder that it really is about the people and they learned as long as we are together…that's all that matters,” Hong says.

Pastor Hong says that he hopes construction of the new church will be complete by 2020. The congregation is holding fundraiser to help pay for the new building.

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