Congregation Moves to Glendale After Glassell Park Church Fire

Repairs to the Glassell Park church could take up to two years to complete, church officials said

Members of a Mormon church that caught fire in Glassell Park last week gathered at another church in Glendale for their first Sunday service since the devestating blaze.

Hundreds of members of the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Glassell Park congregation attended the afternoon service at the LDS Chapel in Glendale, where they have had to relocate.

"They have been so nice to us, they welcome us with all their hearts," said Zoraida Cajina, a member of the Glassell Park congregation. "They said they're going to be helping us and give us everything we need while we are in this chapel."

The Glassell Park church blaze broke out last Tuesday after nearby vegetation caught fire and ignited the chapel, which is located just off the 2 Freeway.

Seventy percent of the church's roof was destroyed, church officials said, and repairs may take as long as two years.

For some members, having to relocate from the church, which has provided services for the Spanish-speaking Mormon community for 23 years, has been a difficult adjustment.

"By and large I would say everybody has gone through a period of shock and is probably still going through it," church spokesman James Jenks said. "It’s like a death in the family that happened instantaneously. It takes a while for your mind to grasp."

Structural engineers will assess the fire damage Monday to determine whether the church is able to be renovated or must be gutted and rebuilt from scratch.

In the meantime, Glassell Park members will join 1,000 other worshippers in services at the Glendale church.

"It gives us a confidence in our leaders because we know they are with us, they are working with us," Cajina said. "They have ensured that everything is OK and that we are going to continue with our learning, our worshipping and everything that we need to."

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