By Pastor Mark Hopper
Diamond Bar- California was a cattle ranch for many years. It has an interesting history dating back to Mexican land grants and a variety of owners. Our church is built on the site where the original ranch house stood. In the 1960’s, Transamerica Corporation bought the ranch and developed it into a beautiful master planned community.
Although Diamond Bar does not look like a cattle ranch today, there are some other residents who still call it home. In the past we have seen deer on the hillside east of our house. We have seen coyotes trotting down our street. And, we have seen skunks and raccoons.
Our church property used to have some undeveloped land behind the first building. Hawks built nests in the tall pine trees and skunks were seen from time to time.
One day before a Sunday church service a child approached me with an urgent message. He said there was a skunk in the church! At first I thought he was kidding, but when several of us investigated we found a skunk lying in the return air duct that ran under the floor. We could clearly see him but we weren’t sure if he was dead or asleep.
What should we do? Should we evacuate the building or just wait and deal with the skunk after the service? We decided to wait and not say anything so we wouldn’t cause a panic and risk waking him up. The service ended without incident. After people left, a friend helped me investigate. We realized the skunk was dead. We removed him and buried him in the land behind the church.
Apparently, he had found his way into the furnace room which had a fresh air grill to the outside. He must have climbed into the return air duct, slid down under the floor and was unable to get back out. We don’t know how long he was there. We actually saw two other skunks on the property that morning. They were probably looking for their lost friend who had disappeared in the church furnace room.
As a pastor, I like to think that everyone is welcome at our church. We encourage friends and guests to attend our services. But, we may need to post a new sign, “No Skunks Allowed”!
This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper of Efree Church of Diamond Bar. Sunday Services are held at 9:00 am & 10:45 am at 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd. You can contact the church at 909.594.7604 or visit them online at Efreedb.org