By Rich Brown
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The Rev. Matt Snyder and his congregation may have looked for biblical solace a year ago in Matthew 19:26 as they viewed the charred remains of their Webb City church.
Keeping in mind words from that Scripture, “With God all things are possible,” members of Frisco Church didn’t let the Oct. 22, 2011, fire get them down. Even though the blaze ruined almost everything in the building, they kept on meeting. That meant holding worship services in their youth building while renovations took place.
With the building nearly restored and the congregation moving back into the sanctuary on Oct. 14, a long, difficult year came to an end. To mark the occasion, Frisco Church, located at 908 W. Daugherty St., will hold what it is calling “Restoration Celebration” Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2-4.
Kicking off the event will be a concert by nationally known Southern Gospel and country music singer Guy Penrod at 7 p.m. Friday, with doors to open at 6 p.m.
An appreciation service to recognize first responders to the fire, as well as contractors and sub-contractors, will be held at 7 p.m. the following day. Then, on Sunday, following the 10:30 a.m. worship service, an open house with refreshments will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.
The open house is designed largely for those who attend other church services in the morning but would like to see the renovations made to the building.
Penrod, a native of Abilene, Texas, recently went out on his own after being a centerpiece for 14 years with the Bill Gaither Vocal Band. He just released his first solo country album, “Breathe Deep,” which is a collection of 13 songs that harken back to his deep roots in faith and family.
Although he continues to sing gospel favorites, Penrod is broadening his horizons with country music.
“I haven’t changed a lick É I just wanted a fresh wrapper,” he writes on his website, www.guypenrod.com. “What’s new is the perspective that the music is fresh and different from what I was doing with the Vocal Band. I wanted the new album to kick it out there in a little bigger pond. I believe that country is one of the best genres of music from which to tell the American story.”
Snyder estimates the average attendance at Frisco to be between 150 and 200 people.
Train Station Namesake
The church originated more than a century ago as a small mission across the street from where it is now. That first location also happened to be the Frisco Train Station, from which the church derived its name.
Snyder said that even though the fire, which started from a short circuit in an exit sign in the basement, was extinguished, much damage occurred.
“It is amazing what damage a fire does,” said Snyder, who is in his seventh year as the Frisco pastor. “Basically, everything in the building was ruined.”
In addition to replacing all the electrical wires in the church, workers had to replace all the carpeting, heating and air-conditioning. Also, the pews were replaced with theater seating.
Address correspondence to Rich Brown, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
Guy Penrod will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the church. The $15 tickets may be purchased at the church or For-All Bible and Music Center at Northpark Mall in Joplin. Because of limited seating, advance tickets are recommended.
Details: 417-673-3672, email@example.com, www.friscochurch.org.