By Sterling McGinn
The Ramirez family was looking for a smaller community to relocate to—a more family-oriented area. The California family moved to Germfask in September of 2022, only to lose their home in a devasting fire on January 31, 2023. The house was not insured.
A new house was built from the ashes through the generosity of the family’s church, the Germfask Christian Fellowship Church, located a couple of miles down M-77 from the community of Germfask. An official dedication with numerous church members took place on Saturday, February 3 at 3 p.m., just a little more than a year since the house fire.
Phillip and Michelle Ramirez and their children Benjamen and Mykenna lived in the mobile-type house near Germfask just five months before it burned, taking all their belongings and killing their chickens. No one in the family was injured.
Community members and their church family donated clothing and household items right away. The family was given lodging at a seasonal home whose owner was away for the winter. The family later lived in a camper trailer on the church grounds.
Fundraising efforts and a GoFundMe page were also organized by Adam Holcomb and Ashley Watkins, with the help of Kris Creeger.
But members of Germfask Christian Fellowship Church wanted to find a home for the new family.
“They were a new family in the area, and the church was really the only family they had here—they really didn’t have any other support system,” said Pastor J.D. Livermore.
Livermore, who has pastored the congregation for nearly 30 years, said the church first searched to find the family another mobile home.
“There really wasn’t anything available and by the time you found something, it was going to be as much as building a home,” he said.
The church has a membership of more than 30 and had been in the process of remodeling, though progress stopped when the Covid-19 pandemic began.
The congregation decided to use money from their building fund to construct a new home for the Ramirez Family.
Construction on the new house began on September 18, overseen by Ken Hollinger from Shaum Construction of Engadine.
The new house is now complete and ready for the Ramirez family who are more than grateful for all who contributed and helped their family.
“This has been a huge blessing, and we are grateful for the community and everyone who was involved,” said Phillip Ramirez.