Group stays strong after Elkhart Lifeline building comes down - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Group stays strong after Elkhart Lifeline building comes down


An Elkhart building damaged by fire is coming down but the group that occupied it says things are still looking up.  Demolition is underway on the Lifeline Youth Ministries building in Elkhart.  It was severely damaged by a fire in September and could not be saved.  But the fire has actually made the organization stronger.

Wednesday afternoon the boys High School club of Lifeline played basketball in a gym at the Elkhart YMCA.  It's something they've done for years but this year is different, they aren't playing in their gym.  Since their building was destroyed by fire they've been shooting hoops in temporary locations.

They'll never be in their old building again.  Demolition began there Wednesday morning.  Darrell Peterson the Executive Director of Lifeline Youth Ministries said, "It is a bittersweet day, there's a lot of really positive memories here."  But they haven't let the loss of their building stop them.  Member Andrew Tabler said, "We've still been together as a group and I think we'll still be together as a group."  And Dalton Briggs said, "we stay as a family."

As the walls come down at their old building the members said, "no big deal."  "It's not the building that we're really concerned about it's the people that's here and the program," said Jeremy January.

Lifeline's website says, "What man considers tragedy, God considers opportunity."  That's exactly how they view this demolition as they make plans to rebuild in a new location.  "In the past we had a 100 year old building that we tried to make fit what we wanted to do.  In the future we'll have a building that fits exactly what we want to do," said Peterson.  Eusean Spearmon said, "I know it's gonna be better than the old building...a lot better"

But really it's not the building that matters.  "I'm still gonna come whether it's in the building or outside in a tent somewhere," said January.

An interesting fact just to show how well the group is doing despite the loss of this building, Peterson said they've actually grown 25% since the fire. 

As for their new building, no location has been chosen yet.  They do plan to stay in Downtown Elkhart though.


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