When the Fire Alarm Is Pulled (photos & video included)

Today – I was about three minutes into my message at the first service and the fire alarm was pulled in the hallway. There is more than one person suspicious that it wasn't a child… that it was the topic of the morning that caused a bit of frustration. I'm not sure I'm buying that yet, but I suppose it's possible. Here's some photos and at the bottom is the video of when it happened while I was speaking:

Fire drill 1

A couple of volunteers and staff – trying to figure out a plan while everyone was outside.

Fire drill 2

The fire department finally arrives. I'm sure it wasn't long, but it sure felt like it.

Fire drill 3

Karen and the fire chief trying to figure out how to reset the flashing lights in the auditorium.

Fire drill 4

A few hundred waited on both sides of the building to see if we could get back in.

Here is what happened… I was about three minutes into my sermon when the alarm went off throughout the building (you can see the video below). We emptied the building and tried to reset the alarm. We weren't able to get it reset until the fire department arrived. Once they turned off the alarm, they weren't able to reset the flashing lights – so we had to call a security company to come reset those lights.

While figuring that out, I went over to the Greece campus as we considered the possibility of me preaching live there and get back to preach it again at the 2nd service in Irondequoit. Then only those who attended the first serivce would miss that sermon. Yet a couple of minutes before I would be "on" in Greece – we still hadn't reset the lights in Irondequoit and we were wondering if we'd need to cancel the second serivce also, and I didn't want to preach a sermon in Greece that no one in Irondequoit heard.

About one minute before I would have started, the lights were fixed, but we also decided it would be wisest to hold off on preaching it live in Greece. So we went with our backup plan – and in Greece we played a sermon from last November that – because of a technical problem – was never played in Greece. So Greece was able to see that sermon. We then had to figure out the second service in Irondequoit – so we decided to show a sermon from two years ago on parenting from Ephesians 6:4. We decided on that – since it would expand on what I spoke on last week on parenting. 

I am blown away by the quick thinking, decision-making, and cooperation of our staff and some key volunteers who jumped in to help figure out solutions. Believe me, the morning was more stressful than preaching on submission!

Next week, we will try again – 1 Peter 3:1. 

Here's the video (it is low quality because I'm video-taping it from my TV screen in my office):

If you receive this via email – go HERE to see the video.


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