Easter service in parking lot after Mesa church fire

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- Last Sunday, "Next Generation" church along with eight other businesses, burned to the ground after a fire sparked in a Mesa strip mall.

Despite not having a church, Pastor Rachea Reece-Peeplec's Easter service still went on.

Tents and chairs were set up in the parking lot. Audio equipment was brought in allowing her parishioners to celebrate Easter.

Kyara Jones said," It was a little rough, but we knew we were still going to come out and still worship God like we always do."

While the service location was unique, the message Pastor Rachea was trying to get across was still felt.

Despite losing everything, Pastor Rachea's faith is still strong," We had nothing when we started, so the same God that gave us what we had is the same God that'll give us more and greater than what we had, so that's just what we believe, that's why we're still out here today." 

Sixty firefighters from four different agencies battled the fire at the strip mall but strong winds prevented them from saving any of the businesses.

No one was inside any of the units at the time. Officials said the fire started in the middle of the Granite Reef Plaza near Power Road and Main Street just after noon and quickly spread to both ends of the building.