Chestertown Seventh-day Adventist
Church Reopens After 2012 Fire

68-year-old building restored in a little more than a year (Posted July 10, 2013)

BY DAVID FOURNIER, Adventist Risk Management, reporting from Chestertown, Maryland

A little more than a year after a fire damaged the upper level of the Chestertown, Maryland, Seventh-day Adventist Church, the church celebrated the completion of restoration with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The service took place on May 18, 2013, and focused on the work of emergency first responders to the fire as well as the contributions of Adventist Risk Management, Inc., Paul Davis Restoration, and other contractors who worked to restore the church.

The Chestertown church was built in 1945 through the hard work and contributions of its members. Much of the materials, manual labor, and time were donated. Two years after it first opened, a church school was started in the church’s lower level.

On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at 6:22 a.m. a two-alarm fire ravaged the entire upper church sanctuary, causing smoke damage throughout the building.  Attending to the fire that morning were seven local fire companies. Adventist Risk Management personnel were able to visit the site the same day to begin the process of documenting the damage and processing the claim.

BACK IN BUSINESS: A little more than a year after a fire gutted its interior, the Chestertown, Maryland, Seventh-day Adventist Church is back to full operations. From left, Brad Russen, assistant chief, Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company; Rick Remmers, president, Chesapeake Conference; Kevin McDaniel, Chestertown pastor; Randy Boone, head elder; Dwight Young, Paul Davis Restoration, participate in a ribbon cutting at the church.{PHOTO: Samantha Young/Chesapeake Conference]
Paul Davis Restoration and other local contractors did the restoration work that included bringing the building up to code, cleaning up water and smoke damage, and rebuilding the flooring and subflooring.

Adventist Risk Management CFO Steve Blackburn attended the celebration and was invited to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He remarked that “there is such a positive spirit with the members at Chestertown—this is why it is a blessing to be part of the ministry of risk management.”

Rick Remmers, Chesapeake Conference president, was also on hand and expressed his appreciation for the good work. During a tour of the facility Remmers noted that the Eastern Shore Junior Academy would be utilizing the church facilities this school year. Prior to the fire, the church would not have been able to be used for that type of activity, but with the upgrades, the code is met and the school can continue.

Adventist Risk Management, Inc., is the risk management company for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area. It provides risk management services and insurance product solutions to assist the church in eliminating oversights that can lead to costly accidents. ARM employs 130 people around the world with corporate headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and satellite offices in Riverside, California; St. Albans, England; and Brasilia, Brazil.


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