Earlier this month, a fire tore through an Indiana church, destroying the entire building. It left little to nothing behind except one thing: Bibles.
The Lighthouse Tabernacle Church lost almost everything in a fire that started in the pastor’s office on Sunday, June 3, sweeping throughout the rest of the main building, according to The Christian Post.
Local news outlet WLKY-TV reported that the flames stood 10 to 12 feet tall, engulfing the walls of the building. The fire was so big and uncontrollable that fire departments from six different towns rushed to the scene, attempting to control and put out the flames.
The Crothersville church is already making plans to rebuild. WLKY was the first outlet to report that nearly everything was reduced to ashes except for the Bibles.
“I can’t say 100 percent, but upper 90 percent, the Bibles were never burned,” Charles Densford, the Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Chief said “It’s actually amazing really.”
“I would think they’ll have to rebuild with the water damage inside the sanctuary. They might be able to salvage some stuff in there, but I really don’t know,” Densford added.
The fire started early in the morning on Sunday and was first noticed by Sam Stegall, an evangelist who lives behind the church in a trailer. He said that a passerby knocked on the door of his trailer around 6 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from the church.
Stegall called Pastor Jerry Miles. Shortly after this, the fire department was called.
The sanctuary of the church was built with wooden beams and chandeliers that made the spreading of the fire so much quicker.
Pastor Miles and Denver Glenn, a church member, rushed to the church when they got the call from Stegall. Firefighters were already at the scene by the time they got there.
The first thing Pastor Miles did was tell Glenn to tell the firefighters to stay safe and be careful with what they were doing.
“The beams are wood in the sanctuary,” Miles said. “I said, ‘Just make sure you tell them once it gets in the sanctuary, don’t go in there. It could collapse at any minute. I don’t want anybody hurt.”
The church was built 43 years ago, in 1975, and Miles has been preaching their since 1981.
“When I came up, Sam said, ‘Well, it’s just a building,'” Miles said. “I said, ‘Well, yeah, but you know what? This is all I’ve got.’ One of the young men from my church was standing there, and he said, ‘But you’ve got us.’ It caught me. I’ve got great people. I thought, ‘What’s a building? We’ll rebuild.’ I’ve got great people, and they are already surrounding me.”
At this point, no one is sure of what caused the fire, but there is an ongoing investigation.
Miles told WLKY that he already knew the church would have had to be rebuilt soon, which Densford echoed.
“I would think they’ll have to rebuild with the water damage inside the sanctuary,” Densford said. “They might be able to salvage some stuff in there, but I really don’t know.”
Luckily the church has a building for fellowship behind the church that they can use as a gathering place until they rebuild the main church building.
Not only that, but Miles stated pastors from the area had already offered to let the church borrow their buildings for services as well.
“It’s heartbreaking on the outside because blood, sweat and tears have been in this. We just went through a remodeling process, and it was beautiful inside, so when you pull up, that overwhelms you,” Tracie Kovener, a church member, told the Seymour Tribune. “But this church was built by the saints back in the 1970s. They built it from the foundation up. There are a lot of memories because I grew up in this church.”
“It’s heart-wrenching, but we believe in God,” she added. “We put our faith and trust in God is what the church is based on.”
(H/T: The Christian Post)