Fire Update

February 2023 Update

In November 2022, Mount Olivet’s Church Council voted to allow Pastor Sara to convene a team called the Phoenix Taskforce to lead Mount Olivet’s fire recovery efforts. The Taskforce is working closely with our insurance company, Church Mutual, as well as Paul Davis Fire Clean-Up and Restoration Specialists to assess damage and move the recovery process forward.

Before we can begin restoration work on the church, we need to hire a contractor to clean up asbestos containing materials present in some fire-damaged areas of the building. The Taskforce is reviewing asbestos abatement proposals to choose a contractor as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, the church continues to operate with a reduced footprint. We are limited to the Sanctuary, Preschool, Youth Area, Fellowship Hall and rooms L8 and L9. Staff continue to work at home. 

We apologize that the chair lift to the sanctuary has not been operating properly. We are working to fix it as soon as possible since the elevator will not be available for the foreseeable future.

We thank you for your patience as we move through the recovery and restoration process and are so grateful for your continued support and prayers! 

October 2022 Update

Dear Mount Olivet Family,

When we hear the words “church” and “fire” all sorts of images of tragic destruction spring to mind. While we are truly so fortunate in our situation, we do want to share with you the realities that we are facing as a church over the coming weeks and months.

The Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, and Preschool building were largely unharmed. This is fantastic news!

We are also fortunate in that electrical systems for these spaces are separate so each part of the building is able to operate independently with regards to electric, fire alarms, and internet.

We have no reason to believe this was arson.

Music Room & Classrooms

The level below that contains a Preschool classroom, Choir room, office space and other classrooms. Due to the water damage and smoke exposure, the contents of those rooms are ruined. That also means the majority of the music library will need to be replaced.

Office Space & Gathering Space

There is substantial water damage to walls and ceilings. The Gathering Space and office suite will need to be nearly completely renovated.

This is estimated to take at least six months.

During that time, our clergy and staff will not have offices onsite.

We will not have classrooms on the lower level where many of our Adult Sunday school rooms and Wednesday studies take place.

Clergy and staff will continue to meet during the week offsite or online and we are available by appointment.

Accessing Areas of the Building

When we do return to worship in the Sanctuary, we will not have access from the 16th St. doors, the front circle, nor elevator usage.

We will need to enter the building by the preschool doors.

We also will not have access to anything in the northern building to include The Gathering Space, the Office Suite, the Choir room, and restrooms and classrooms on all three floors.

We are working with various companies and agencies to make sure our facility is clean and safe and handicap accessible as possible.

3D Scan of Building

A 3D interactive scan of the building in it's current state has been created and is available for you to view.

View Interactive 3D Scan

Sunday Plans

Traditional Worship
11 AM in the Sanctuary

The 8:30 service is on pause for now.

The Way
11 AM in the Fellowship Hall

Entering and Navigating the Building
Please enter through the Sanctuary doors or the glass doors on Glebe Road next to the fence. All other entrances are closed! Many portions of the building are still closed for your safety. Please respect closed and locked doors, plastic partitions, and any other signs that you should not enter a space. See maps below.

Please use the restrooms located directly outside the Fellowship Hall or the private restroom in the Preschool lobby just outside the Sanctuary.

Children's Sunday School
Children's Sunday School will meet in the Preschool wing at 9:40 AM.

Children's Church
Children’s Church (Wee Believers/Belief Builders) will meet in Rooms L8 and L9 at 11 AM.  

Adult Sunday School
Classes will meet at 9:40 AM in the following locations:

- 9:30 Study Group | Youth Area (room on the left at the back of the room)
- Connections | Youth Area (room on the left at the front of the room)
- Mini Vangelism | Room L9
- Spirited Parents | Preschool Wing 
- Bible Study | Sanctuary

Building Maps
Areas in red are restricted.

Statement from Pastor Sara

Dear Mount Olivet Family,

You have likely heard the news of a fire at Mount Olivet early this morning, Friday, October 14.

The fire began in the attic above the music and education wing. Thankfully no one was in the building and there are no injuries.

Thanks to many firefighters and first responders from Arlington, Fairfax, and Falls Church, the fire has been extinguished.

There is likely extensive smoke and water damage to that part of the building. The sanctuary and preschool wings were not harmed.

We are beyond grateful that no one was injured and this was no worse than it is, but we still ask that you be in prayer for our community, clergy, and staff as we navigate the following days and weeks.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Sara