JOPLIN – Even after its building was destroyed by the May 22 tornado, Harmony Heights is a church moving forward. They held funeral services for three they lost in the storm, they’re working on plans to rebuild and now they need one of the few remaining pieces to the puzzle: vans.
“Every time we have a funeral for one of our people, it’s difficult for me, but this has been very difficult for us, but the church has really pulled together and I think our attitude is great,” said Pastor Charlie Burnett.
For now, Harmony Heights is meeting at Bethel Assembly of God about three miles south of their original church site.
“That’s been working out very well,” Burnett said. “We meet at 2 p.m. Sundays and we switched from Wednesday evening to Thursday.”
The church has formed a building committee and is beginning to interview prospective builders.
“It won’t be long before we make a decision and start building,” he said. “We’ve actually had 15 builders call. Right now, it’s not too hard to find builders because the city isn’t issuing permits right now. We’d like to start within three or four months and be done within the year.”
Before the storm, the church had a thriving children’s and youth ministry, which was anchored by four church vans.
“Since we lost those in the tornado, that ministry has stopped temporarily,” he said. “But we’re looking at starting those back up the first Thursday in July and we’re looking for vans to replace our old ones so we can restart those routes.
“We had about 60 in RAs (Royal Ambassadors), GAs (Girls in Action) and Mission Friends,” he said, “and that’s pretty good for a church our size. We were just out there doing what we should be doing.”
To make a donation toward the vans, contact Burnett at (417) 483-1479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRIAN KOONCE/staff writer