Wesley UMC in San Jose escapes fire but loses neighbor to flames

December 05, 2007

Tragedy struck next door to Wesley United Methodist Church in Japantown, San Jose in the week after Thanksgiving. A neighboring historic building used as a boarding house caught fire and burned to the ground. One of the home’s residents was unable to escape and perished.


While a wall of the sanctuary was very near the flames, the church buildings were saved and services were held as usual the following Sunday (December 2). However, there was extensive smoke damage.


All the walls of the church had to be wiped down and some will require painting. The sanctuary and chapel will be repainted after Christmas; in the meantime, carpets and pew pads are being shampooed. All hymnals, Bibles and Faith We Sing books will have to be replaced. Fellowship Hall was put out of service until it could be cleaned.


The cleaning and painting is being done by professional crews hired by the church’s insurance company.


Link to the church website, www.wesleysj.net, for updated information.


Wesley UMC pastors, The Rev. Douglas Norris, Rev. Michinari Matsushita and The Rev. Motoe Yamada, give thanks to their extended church family – the United Methodist connection – for prayers and support.


Read The Rev. Motoe Yamada’s account of the fire here.