Ocean City Church Plans To Rebuild After Deadly Fire - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City Church Plans To Rebuild After Deadly Fire

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Site plan (Photo: WBOC) Site plan (Photo: WBOC)
Site plan (Photo: WBOC) Site plan (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- Saint Paul's By-the-Sea Episcopal Church is rebuilding after a deadly fire claimed the life of its beloved pastor. The church submitted site plans to the Town of Ocean City for a newly-designed building. 

On Nov. 26, 2013, 56-year-old John Sterner lit himself on fire and ran into the rectory building. He, along with the church's beloved pastor, the Rev. David Dingwall, died in the blaze. Since the building was torn down after the fire, the lot has sat vacant. The site plan submitted will restore the church's administrative offices, storage spaces and handicap accessibility on the North side of the building. 

The town unanimously approved the site plans and now the rebuilding process can move forward. Annamarie Rohrer remembers the deadly fire. She said, "It was absolutely horrific. It was a very traumatic experience; something I never hope I ever have to witness again."

Rohrer said she's happy to hear the church is now moving forward with rebuilding and it will be good to see the vacant lot restored. 

The church's food pantry, known as the "Shepard's Crook" which operated out of the space destroyed in the fire, will not be relocated back to the church. It will remain at its current location on South Baltimore Avenue. 

Ocean City Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith said no date has been set for the groundbreaking, but the town anticipates the process will start in the spring. 

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