Photo: August Rudisell/Lawrence Times
July 26, 2022
Thank you to all who have expressed your concerns following our fire at the Stull Community of Faith. Thankfully the damage was contained to the bell tower area so our sanctuary is still intact and our Faith and Friendship Center building was not damaged. The firefighters went above and beyond to fight the fire and keep it under control. To them, we are eternally grateful.
At this point, the State Fire Investigator has ruled that the cause is inconclusive.
It is a true blessing that we will be able to continue our worship services in the Faith & Friendship Center. We will also have Harvesters Rural Mobile this Thursday, July 28 in our parking lot starting at noon. The Community Cupboard and Clothes Closet will be open in the Faith & Friendship Center on its regular schedule of the 1st and 3rd Thursdays in August.
The church building will not be accessible during time of restoration, completion of the repair work, and until we receive authorization from the County to resume occupancy.
If you would like to help, we have set up a fire relief fund.
Checks may be sent to the Stull Community of Faith, 1596 E 250 Road, Lecompton, KS 66050.
You are welcome to check our Facebook page (Stull Community of Faith) and website www.stullcoff.com for continued updates. You may also leave a phone message on the Church answering machine, 785-887-6521.
We appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers during this time.
August 1, 2022
Thank you everyone for your concerns and prayers following our recent church fire.
The cause of the fire is still inconclusive, but the signs are that it was a lightning strike. There was no electrical in the area the fire started. There is a dark spot on the outside wall where it ignited. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the bell tower area. Unfortunately it took over 10,000 gallons of water to extinguish, which all ended up in the NW corner walls, ceiling, and sanctuary floor. The church was filled with smoke and soot resulting in much smoke damage.
The Lawrence and County Consolidated Fire departments worked 3-4 hours putting the fire out and securing our building. We are blessed and very grateful to them for the great job that they did.
We have put together a Response team who will serve as the lead on this project.
Brenna Wulfkuhle, Mary Shultz, Susan Theroff and Mark Wulfkuhle will be working with the contractors, the insurance company, vendors and releasing all information and updates. This Team plans to give updates weekly or when appropriate. They will be the voice for this project, so that accurate and consistent information is shared. We are working with Paul, our insurance adjuster who will be with us throughout the restoration/construction. Paul has helped many churches who have suffered fire damage and personally ran a church reconstruction company in the past.
Our church building has been secured and no one from the congregation or community can enter it at this time for liability reasons. Please do not try and enter until we get clearance from our insurance provider and general contractor. The many contractors working have been advised to escort anyone out who tries to enter the church at this time.
We have hired the following contractors:
Mar-Lan Construction - General Contractor
Superior Electric - Sub-Contractor
Larry Lawrenz - Sub-Contractor
Both Superior Electric and Larry Lawrenz have worked in our church and are familiar with its construction.
What is currently happening:
-Faith and Friendship Center has been set up so that we can continue to worship on Sundays at 11am.
-Community Cupboard and The Closet have been set up in the F&FC and will continue to run on their normally scheduled times.
-Back to School will go on as scheduled.
-All porous materials and insulation will be removed and disposed of.
-Water removal and drying of the building will continue.
-Piano and pews will be moved off-site to be cleaned and refurbished.
-Salvageable and unsalvageable items are being inventoried and removed.
-A crane will be removing the bell from the bell tower through a hole in the top of the bell tower roof.
-The bell tower where the fire damage is will be deconstructed down to the floor of the tower and a temporary roof then constructed, so the church is weathertight.
We appreciate all who have sent us their prayers and encouragement. Many have asked us how they can help. At this time, we cannot accept labor or volunteered time for the fire cleanup. We do appreciate the donations to our fire relief fund and plan to use those donations towards expenses not covered by insurance and upgrades, as chosen by our congregation, as we continue to make our church whole.
If you would like to donate please make check out to:
Stull Community of Faith, with fire relief in the memo line.
C/O Mary Shultz, 462 N 1600 Road, Lawrence, KS 66049; or send to the Stull Community of Faith, 1596 E 250 Road, Lecompton, KS 66050
Your Stull Community of Faith Response Team
August 5, 2022
This morning Mar-Lan mobilized Polk Crane to remove the bell. The bell is a little charred but still had its deep ring when we tried it out after safely removing it.
The bell weighs approximately 1,300 lbs.
August 17, 2022
The church fire clean-up continues to be a work in progress with many moving pieces and changes occurring daily.
- We continue to worship on Sunday mornings at 11am in the Faith and Friendship Center. We invite you to join us or watch the service on Facebook live.
- Our Community Cupboard remains open on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays and our clients are elated we are still able to assist them. The Closet will open again in October. If you have donation of clothing, please contact Mary or Brenna to make arrangements for them. We are limited on storage capacity for clothing currently.
- Back to School went off without a hitch and the families/students were overjoyed with their school supplies and new outfit/shoes.
- Chavez Restoration was quite successful in drying out most of the walls and floors of the church building from the bell tower to the basement level.
- All porous material/items have been removed from the church which helped greatly to reduce the smoky smell.
- The pews, alter, pulpit, piano and all technology items have been removed and sent off to be cleaned and placed into storage.
- Mar-Lan Construction has begun the process of removing some ceilings that remain wet after the attic insulation was removed.
- The bell was removed by Polk Crane and placed into off site storage. The bell will not be returning to the bell tower. We are researching ideas on how to best showcase the bell moving forward.
- The bell tower will remain intact to the church and will have a redesigned hip style roof.
- The team consults weekly with our insurance adjustor.
- There is no timeframe for when we will be able to return to worship in the sanctuary.
Thanks to everyone for continued prayers as we move onward and upward each day.
October 17, 2022
We continue to move forward in the restoration of the church after the bell tower fire in July. Our restoration plan was signed and stamped by Douglas County zoning and codes, so we have begun to see many contractors working on the church campus.
- Fire retardant has been sprayed on walls inside of the building and in the attic.
- New hip roof is being framed.
- Bell tower is being reframed.
- Holes cut in the plaster to aide in drying are being fixed.
- All hardwood floors have begun being sanded and stripped for re-varnishing.
- Handrails and trim have begun being stripped and prepped for re-varnishing.
- New flooring for the basement is being ordered.
- New electrical wiring throughout the building is beginning.
We continue to be thankful for the knowledge and guidance Mar-Lan Construction, our general contractor, is providing. We have no timeframe yet for when we may be able to return to the sanctuary for worship. We do continue to accept donations to our Fire Relief Fund (see previous reports for mailing information.)
March 21, 2023
Announcement of the RETURN TO THE SANCTUARY! Sunday, March 26th for a soft opening for worship at 11am.