Tolleson LDS church rebuilds after arson in 2012

TOLLESON, AZ - It’s a fresh start for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tolleson.

Almost two years ago, an arsonist torched the old meeting house for the Church. The arsonist is still on the loose, but the congregation rose from the ashes.

On June 29, 2012, stake president Ron Waldron heard the Church’s building was completely destroyed.

“I got a phone call about three in the morning that said the building was on fire,” Waldron says.

But the church set out to rebuild right away.

“Certainly it was heartbreaking, but we moved on,” Waldron says.

What the arsonist didn’t know is that Waldron’s three congregations are not defined by the building they meet in, but rather their spiritual strength.

“By Sunday, we had congregations meeting in other buildings and life goes on,” Waldron says.

And like a phoenix rising from the ashes, President Waldron proudly shows off the new home they built.

“The chapel, our worship services are here, and we pass sacrament or communion,” he says.

Next to the chapel is a multi-purpose room that can also be used for overflow on busy Sundays.

Altogether, the building houses three congregations, but there’s room for four in this new building.

“To be able to build back on this location has been perfect for our members,” Waldron says.

The building has been in use for a month, and the official open house is Saturday. Anyone from any religion is welcome to come check it out. 

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