Plan to be back in sanctuary by Easter

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Although members of The Turning Pointe United Methodist Church are emotional about a fire that occurred early Sunday, Dec. 5, they also are motivated, one official said.

“We’re not looking at it as a setback,” said Katy Dunigan, the adult ministry director at the West Side Methodist church, which has about 400 attendees each week.

“We’re looking at it as an opportunity to move forward as a family to create a stronger sense of unity (and) cohesiveness. It’s kind of exciting to see what God’s going to do through this and because of this.”

No one was inside when the fire was reported, and no one was injured.

The fire, apparently electrical, heavily damaged the altar area and left much of the church’s main building (including the sanctuary) with smoke damage.

The Rev. Steve Walker, who arrived about 8 a.m., said the sanctuary door felt warm, and when the door was opened, black smoke poured out.

“It was at that point I realized we weren’t going to have church service,” he said.

A small prayer service with about 100 people was held at an adjoining children’s ministry facility at 10:15 a.m.

In the meantime, worship services are being held at the University of Southern Indiana’s Mitchell Auditorium at 10 a.m. on Sundays. On Jan. 8, Saturday Night Worship resumed at 5:30 p.m. in the Faith Pointe building on The Pointe Campus. This is a family worship service with a children’s moment during the service.

According to Walker’s online blog, the congregation will be back in its restored sanctuary by Easter. “How fitting and how exciting to see God lead his people through a kind of ‘exile’ and into a resurrection life,” wrote Walker.

Information from The Evansville Courier & Press was used in the writing of this news brief. For more information about The Turning Pointe, visit