UPDATE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 17, 2019

Good afternoon New Bethel!  This is our first bit of news to update you on since May 20th.

The work in the upper and lower fellowship halls is progressing well.  The engineers are still waiting for the City to approve the construction plans.

Assembling inventories of lost or damaged items is a tedious task and we are continuing to work with our insurance carrier on this aspect of the recovery process.


NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY MAY 20, 2019

The crews have almost finished laying the sub-floor in the upper fellowship hall.  And the roofers are now working on the permanent roof in the kitchen area.

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019

Although we are still waiting to hear from the City about the building permit request, some basic rebuilding has begun in the upper fellowship hall – the crews have laid the flooring underlayment and part of the subfloor, and they have also put up some of the wall studs and trusses.

Just a reminder, because work in the fellowship halls will progress more slowly there will be less to report on each week, so these updates will be shorter and less frequent.  

Please remember to keep Deaconess Pearl Means and the entire Means family in your prayers.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; … come enter into the joy of thy Lord.’”  Matthew 25:23

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, MAY 6, 2019

We are beginning to regain a sense of normalcy in the sanctuary side of our building – the hymnals have arrived and will be placed in the pews along with blank envelopes and repairs will be made to the toilets in the ladies’ restroom.

And the ball is now rolling on phase 2 – the reconstruction of the fellowship hall side of the building.  The permit request process is currently under way.  Because technology has changed, our kitchen will be modernized.  The walls in the upper fellowship hall will be better insulated.  And all the windows will be replaced with energy efficient cost saving windows.

Please be aware that the building’s security alarm is now back online and operational; anyone with keys to the building who enters after the work crews have left is advised to make sure to turn the alarm off when entering and back on again once you leave.

Because work on the other side of the building will progress more slowly, these updates will become shorter and less frequent as there will be less to report on each week.  As such, the Communications Committee will lessen the frequency of its updates, but don’t worry …. whenever we have news about the progress on the other side, we will be sure to pass it along.

As a side note: we have been asked to let everyone know that despite last week’s technical difficulties, the New Bethel Prayer Line will be operational this evening.  Please join us for devotion and prayer at 7:00 p.m.  Just dial 712-832-8330 and when prompted enter access code 7138381.  Prayer changes people, things and circumstances!

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2019

Even though the work in our sanctuary was not 100% complete, everyone seemed to be of the same opinion last Sunday:  the restored sanctuary looked beautiful!  The new paint color and LED bulbs made the vestibule and sanctuary incredibly bright and airy.

The crews are preparing to shift their focus to the other side of the building.  The building permit request process has begun and the plans for rebuilding the upper and lower fellowship halls, pantry, kitchen, classrooms and all connected areas have been submitted to the City.

Within the next two weeks, the crews will begin building a permanent roof to replace the portion of the roof that collapsed during the fire.

With that in mind, please remember the fellowship hall side of the building is still a ‘hard hat only’ construction zone and our access is restricted to the sanctuary and the restrooms; there will continue to be no admittance to areas beyond the sanctuary side of the building.

We should have replacement hymnals within the next two weeks.  Until then, if you don’t know the words to a song, it’s okay, just hum along!

As we enjoy worshiping in our beautifully restored sanctuary, please always remember to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings.  In light of recent events, and at the direction of the Pastor, the Ushers and Deacons will resume the practice of locking the exterior doors at 11:30 a.m. and checking the grounds.

And let us make sure to keep all those who have again been attacked in their places of worship, places that should be safe and sacred, in our prayers.  Remember to pray for our safety and the safety of others … and pray for a change of heart for those who would do others harm.


“Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent ones who devise ways to trip my feet.”  Psalm 140:4


NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2019 – BLESSED EASTER MONDAY

HOME AGAIN!!!  We take so many things for granted.  Being temporarily displaced was a humbling experience but being back home, back in our sanctuary, for Resurrection Sunday was an incredible blessing!  Welcome home!!  Hallelujah!!

The work in our sanctuary is not 100% complete, there are still a few minor things to be done.  Once those things are finished, all the work crews will shift their focus to the other side of the building.  As such, please remember that the fellowship hall areas of the building are still a ‘hard hat only’ construction zone and our access is restricted to the sanctuary and the restrooms.  There will continue to be no admittance to areas beyond the sanctuary side of the building.

And while the world is praying for the people of Paris, France for their loss of Notre Dame Cathedral, let us not forget the three African-American churches in Louisiana – St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church – that were also destroyed by devastating fires.  Having experienced a church fire firsthand, we can surely understand and empathize with their feelings of loss and grief.  So as we celebrate our blessings let’s remember to pray for their strength and comfort as they begin this emotional process of recovering and rebuilding.

“We further engage to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other…; to participate in each other’s joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another’s burdens and sorrows…”.

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019

The painting in the sanctuary, vestibule and connected areas is finished, the scaffolding is gone, and the cleaning of the pews, tiles and carpeting will begin shortly.

Our project manager is still hoping to have us back in the sanctuary by Easter.  Please be aware that our replacement sound system will not be installed by that time, but the media team is putting a temporary system in place.

Also, please be advised that the fellowship hall areas of the building are still a ‘hard hat only’ construction zone and our access is restricted to the sanctuary, vestibule, balcony and the restrooms.  There will be NO ADMITTANCE to areas beyond the sanctuary side of the building.

It is anticipated that the schematics for rebuilding the upper and lower fellowship halls, pantry, kitchen, classrooms and all connected areas will be submitted to the City this week so that the building permit process can begin.  Processing the permit request can take two to three weeks.

We’re getting closer!

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 1, 2019

Welcome to Spring!!

The sanctuary light fixtures have been re-hung and the scaffolding is being disassembled; it should all be removed by today or tomorrow at the latest. There is still some clean-up to be done – the pews will have to be unwrapped and cleaned, the floor tiles and carpeting will have to be cleaned, and Bio-sweep will do another deodorization.  But we are getting closer!!  There is light at the end of the tunnel!!  

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

The sanctuary light fixtures have been cleaned, wiring has been refurbished and new brighter LED bulbs have been installed; the fixtures will be re-hung hopefully by the middle of the week.  

The project manager has advised that his crew’s goal is to have our sanctuary ready for use by Easter, which is April 21st this year.  This could, of course, change but for now this is his estimation.

The choir robes and other items that were hanging in the conference room/lounge have been sent out for cleaning.

If you haven’t already done so, anyone responsible for an office, classroom, storage area, or closet, please make sure to get a list of items that were in your area to Deacon Yancy as soon as you can.  The list should include the age or approximate purchase date of each item, and each item’s approximate cost at the time it was purchased.

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

The painting is progressing nicely.  In addition to painting, brighter LED bulbs will be installed in the fixtures providing more light in the sanctuary, which will be a welcomed improvement.  

BioSweep has completed another round of air cleaning and deodorizing.  They will do several more as needed between now and when we move back into the sanctuary.

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019

The painting contractors will be taking additional measurements in preparation for painting. Because we would prefer that everything have a consistent, uniformed look, it is our understanding that in addition to painting the sanctuary walls the painting contractor has now agreed to also paint the vestibule walls, the walls of the staircases leading to the balcony, the balcony walls, and the walls in the hallway leading from the balcony to the Upper Fellowship Hall.

BioSweep came in this past weekend to set up for another round of air cleaning and deodorizing.

Pastor Reed reminded us Sunday about the importance of being patient. He suggested we ask God to give us each “a double dose of patience and a little more strength to endure this temporary inconvenience.” He added that “God is always more than able to bring good out of what we consider bad. … However long this takes, we’re going to trust God to see us through.” And he also reminded us to give thanks; we may not be in our ideal place to worship, but thankfully we have a place where we can worship together.

“In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2019

Pleasantly brief –

For those who have asked, our timeframe for getting back into the sanctuary seems to be on track, but the project manager will let us know if that changes.

The cleaning of the ceiling in the upper fellowship hall is finished.  The dry ice blasting knocked the varnish off in some spots, which was not unexpected, so those spots will be retouched and made to match to the rest of the slats.

A couple of architects came in last week to survey the damaged areas, but no decision has been made on who will be commissioned to do the architectural work.

Some fabric items have been returned from the cleaners along with a list of those items that the cleaners considered not savable.  There are still some items yet to be cleaned.  Anyone who is responsible for garments that have been considered a loss will be notified individually.


NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2019


This week’s update is another short one.

There is still work to be done in the sanctuary – the light fixtures have been cleaned, the LED bulbs have arrived and once they are installed the fixtures will be rehung, then the cleaning of the pews and carpet and redeodorizing can begin – but they are getting closer!  #Patience

As the work in the sanctuary winds down crews will begin to shift their focus to the fellowship halls.  They are waiting for equipment and materials that they have requisitioned to arrive, which is why last week it may have looked to some as though there was no activity in the building.  Please keep in mind that the contracting companies are as anxious to finish our job as we are for them to be finished, and they have assured us that there will be no unnecessary delays.  So, don’t worry; their goal is to get us back in our sanctuary as soon as possible.  But we would rather have it done right than to have it done fast.  #Patience

Once work shifts to the other side of the building, the next steps will be commissioning an architect to prepare diagrams for the rebuilding, obtaining approval of the diagrams and building code improvements, and applying for the necessary work permits from the City.  This phase of the process will take some time…nothing happens overnight when you’re working with the City.  #Patience

The project manager has posted this sign on all entrances as required by both IOSHA and OSHA and as a strict reminder for the work crews, inspectors, and delivery/set-up crews coming in and out.  It also serves as a reminder for us as well.  #Compliance

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2019

This week’s update will be short and sweet.

The crews in the sanctuary are entering the final stages of getting it ready for our use.  There are still a few more things they need to do but it looks as though their estimated time frame for getting us back into the sanctuary was pretty accurate.

The crews in the Upper Fellowship Hall are almost finished dry ice blasting the ceiling and removing the floor tiles.

It is important to remember that once crews reach the architectural and reconstruction phases, they will rebuild everything that was damaged or lost due to the fire and restore it to its original state and will bring everything up to current building code standards.  They will not rebuild anything that was not damaged by fire, water, smoke or soot.

The building is now officially a ‘hard hat area’ and the project manager is still asking that we not enter the building yet.  

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019

Things are moving right along.

The cleaning of the sanctuary ceiling is finished, and it looks really good.  The crew used dry ice blasting, which is very similar to sand blasting or power washing – they used high pressure hoses to blast dry ice (which is carbon dioxide in solid form) onto the ceiling, the solidified dry ice knocks the soot and dirt off the surface on impact.  Even though dry ice is not safe to inhale, touch or ingest, this method is non-toxic and environmentally safe.

The light fixtures are being cleaned and the new LED bulbs are being ordered; hopefully they will be here next week.  In the meantime, crews are working on replacing any worn or sub-code wiring.  Once the bulbs arrive they will be installed and the fixtures will be re-hung.

The color committee has made a decision so the next step in the process will be painting the sanctuary walls.  Once the painting is complete, the crews will disassemble and remove the scaffolding.  At that point, unwrapping and cleaning the pews and floor tiles can begin.  The last thing to be done will be shampooing the carpet.  After that, Biosweep will come back in and re-deodorize the sanctuary.

We were initially advised that it could take two to three months before we are able to use our sanctuary and that estimated time frame has not changed, but Deacon Means will have a better idea once he meets with all the worksite crew supervisors on Friday.

Once the sanctuary is finished, all crews will begin concentrating their efforts on the kitchen, fellowship halls and the connected areas.  A photographer will record the progress of the restoration of the kitchen and upper fellowship hall so that we have a pictorial timeline of the rebuilding for the church’s official historical record.  We will share the pictures on the church’s website and Facebook page as they become available.

And please remember, the building is still not safe for us to be in – the debris, cables and construction materials create a serious potential for falling; the fumes in the air can be harmful if inhaled (even Deacon Means has to wear a protective mask).  There is still no heat, water (so no restrooms), or lights in the fellowship halls or the connected areas; and there is nowhere to sit.  So overall, it’s cold, dark, dirty, and not a pleasant place to be.  And, of course, the crews cannot do their jobs if we are in their way.

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2019

Cleaning of the sanctuary ceiling, light fixtures and ceiling fans continues. Crews are removing all of the sanctuary light fixtures from the ceiling and will likely stage them on the vestibule floor so they can be cleaned and any damaged or sub-code wiring can be replaced, after which new LED bulbs will be installed and the fixtures will be re-hung.

The consulting firm has assigned us a project manager and as things move toward the reconstruction phase, the project manager will engage the services of an architect so that he or she can begin putting together floor plans and schematics for rebuilding the kitchen and fellowship hall areas and will then begin applying for building permits. But bear in mind, we are not at that point just yet.

It is important to note that they will replace or rebuild everything that was damaged or lost due to the fire and restore it to its original state while making sure everything meets current building codes. They will not replace or rebuild anything that was not damaged by fire, water, smoke or soot.

Even though we are all anxious to get inside to retrieve our belongings or see what can be salvaged, the insurance adjuster has asked everyone to remember that the church is a construction zone and there are several insurance related reasons why we have been asked to stay out of the building until it is safe – first, the debris, cables and construction materials throughout the building make it possible that we might slip and fall … or that something might slip and fall on us; second, the particulates in the air from chemical cleaning solvents, soot, and saw dust can be harmful to the respiratory system; third, there is still no heat, water or lights in the fellowship halls or in the connected areas; and fourth, the crews cannot do their jobs if we are in their way.

Any renovation is a long process, and we would rather have it done right than have it done fast. So please be patient. We will get through this together.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

NBMBC Communications Committee

UPDATE FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2019

Cleaning of the sanctuary ceiling, light fixtures and ceiling fans has begun. Once that is completed, crews will begin painting the sanctuary walls. Around that same time, crews will also begin cleaning the pews and floor tiles.  New LED bulbs will be installed in the light fixtures in the sanctuary, so the sanctuary will be considerably brighter.  From the back of the sanctuary to the baptismal pool, from the north wall to the south wall, from the floor to within approximately 10 feet of the peak of the ceiling, the maze of scaffolding is a sight to behold!  Cleaning of the fellowship halls, kitchen and all the connected areas continues.  Everything has been stripped from the walls, floors and ceilings and most of the areas have been torn down to the studs.  All light fixtures in the upper fellowship hall have been removed and will be cleaned and reinstalled.

We have attached a few photographs of all this work for your viewing pleasure.

In keeping with his motto, “you get what you INspect…not what you EXpect”, Deacon Herschell Means is working closely with the consultants and contractors daily and overseeing the overall progress on the church’s behalf.

Also, the furnishings and office equipment have been cleaned and returned to the clerk’s office but remain wrapped in heavy protective plastic.

There are still sharp pieces of debris and wiring, and large cables from equipment being used by the crews throughout the building, and the air quality is still poor.  As such, we have been asked to continue to remind everyone that for our own safety we are not allowed in the building.

Don’t forget, you can call the church’s InfoLine at 317-726-7410 on Mondays for the latest updates or to leave any questions you may have.

In addition to the InfoLine, you are invited to participate in New Bethel’s Prayer Line on Tuesday or Thursday nights, beginning this Tuesday, January 29, 2019, from 7:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  Prayer and devotion will be led by Rev. John C. Cavanaugh and Sis. Anita Cavanaugh.  

It’s easy to do – simply dial 1-712-832-8330; you will be asked to enter access code 7138381 followed by the pound (#) sign; you will then be asked to announce yourself, which you don’t have to do if you’re uncomfortable with others knowing you are on the line; after which you will be asked to press the pound sign again to enter the conference…then all you have to do is listen and enjoy!

We all know that prayer changes people, situations and circumstances, so please join us as we pray together for our church and for one another.

NBMBC Communications Committee

Update for Monday January 21, 2019

This week’s update will be a short one –

Scaffolding is now set up throughout the sanctuary and the crews have begun cleaning the wooden ceiling slats … a task that is going to take a loooong time to complete.  Unfortunately, it looks like the walls are not going to come clean, so bids are being taken from painting contractors to paint the interior walls of the sanctuary.  The color committee has met to begin discussing a color scheme.

The next step will be cleaning the pews and floors.  The estimated timeframe to get back into the sanctuary might have to be pushed back a little; we will let you know if that becomes necessary.

The fellowship halls, kitchen and all of the connected areas will still take considerably longer.

Please remember, the building remains unsafe as there are still large amounts of sharp metal, wiring, and debris throughout all areas of the building and the air quality is still not 100%.  For our own safety we are still not allowed to enter the building.

NBMBC Communications Committee


Update for Monday, January 14, 2019

Tomorrow will mark one month since the fire and things are moving forward.

Cleaning of both the lower and upper fellowship halls is in progress.  The floor tiles have been removed from both areas, as have the vinyl treads on all the stairs.  The ceiling tiles in the lower fellowship hall have also been removed, and crews are set to begin cleaning the walls in the lower fellowship hall.

The crews are building scaffolding in the sanctuary and have been covered the pews with plastic so that they can begin cleaning the wooden ceiling slats.  Once the sanctuary ceiling and walls are cleaned, the next step will be cleaning the pews and the floor tiles.  Although the deodorization process and the manufactured air that is being pumped in have helped tremendously, the air quality will continue to be unhealthy until the pews, walls and tiles have all been cleaned.

Please continue to work on your inventory lists.  In conjunction with the lists, we have some good news and some less than good news (not bad, just less than good).  The cataloging of the damage by the insurance adjuster is ahead of schedule.  However, because smoke is considered an environmental toxin, personnel from the Environmental Protection Agency had to be brought in for the assessment process.  In some cases, they will determine what items can be kept and what must be thrown out.  And, unfortunately, there are a few areas in which everything in that area is a total loss and no walk-throughs will be necessary; Deacon Yancy will be speaking with those individuals one-on-one.

This is going be a long, slow process but please be patient.  The Bible tells us to “Be always humble, gentle, and patient.  Show your love by being tolerant with one another.” (Ephesians 4:2)  We will get through this!


NBMBC Communications Committee


UPDATE FOR MONDAY, 1/7/2019:

The deodorization process has been completed and the air quality in the building is noticeably improved.

Temporary doors have been installed at all access points between the sanctuary building and the fellowship halls and those doors are being kept locked for the time being.

There is still only temporary electrical service in the sanctuary for the purpose of clean up.  No other area has electrical service.  There is also no water or heat in the building.

A temporary roof has been constructed above the kitchen where the roof collapsed. The engineers are evaluating the temporary roof to determine whether it is structurally sound enough to be the permanent roof.

Cleaning the sanctuary and making it usable again will be a long and slow process, but they are making progress.

We were initially advised that it could take two to three months before we are able to use our sanctuary; we have not been given an updated time frame, so we can assume that time frame remains as is.  And even though there has been some progress, please be advised that we are still not allowed in the building.

The Pastor is asking all auxiliary leaders and teachers to prepare an inventory, to the best of your recollection, of those items in your rooms, closets, storage areas or classrooms so that we can maintain a good inventory of what each person had and we have a list of items that have been damaged or destroyed to present to the insurance adjuster.  Please give your lists to Deacon Yancy and once we are able to access those classrooms and storage areas, you can arrange a time with Dec. Yancy to do a walk-through of your area so that a more comprehensive list of the room’s contents can be prepared.  Since there is still no power in the building, times to do walk-throughs will be limited but Dec. Yancy will do his best to accommodate everyone. Please make sure the lists you prepare are clearly written (printed preferably) with the estimated value of each item and the approximate age of each item.

Finally, if anyone has any pictures of the kitchen before the fire, please let Dea. Yancy know.  If you’re willing to share them, they could be very helpful for insurance purposes.

Thank you.

NBMBC Communications Committee