A string of fires has destroyed a beloved Chicago church in recent days, with fire crews repeatedly heading to the scene between Friday and Wednesday to put out flare-ups.
But despite the large-scale destruction inside Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, a cherished, Jesus-themed mural inside the house of worship is reportedly unscathed and has naturally been capturing headlines.
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The image on the mural depicts Christ’s resurrection, a fascinating part of the story because the fire started on Good Friday, WLS-TV reported.
The church art includes an image of Jesus ascending with angels around Him. The accompanying text from Luke 24:51 reads, “While he blessed them, He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.”
Pastor Gerald Dew said he sees the mural’s survival as a reminder that Christ will — as Scripture proclaims — come again. He is among those who find comfort in it.
“He promised he would return,” Dew told WLS-TV. “And so, just as he is risen and has ascended, we believe we will rise from this.”
The pastor noted, too, that he’s just starting to process all that has been lost in the fire as the beloved church picks up the pieces and prepares to move on.
Demolition began Wednesday, as fire officials said the house of worship was not safe. Fires were still breaking out five days after the initial blaze unfolded, according to CBS News.
But all hope is not lost. Church leaders plan to embark on a significant fundraising effort to pave the way toward reconstruction.
“All our members are hurt by it, but we’re going to be here and rebuild, and we’re going to be even closer behind this,” Antioch Missionary Baptist Church trustee Darren Garrett told CBS News. “I was still hoping and praying that we would be able to keep the walls — some parts of it — but God knows what’s best.”
After the unfortunate fire at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Friday and four days of burning this mural looks virtually untouched. 0 pic.twitter.com/wFb6LZiveq— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) April 19, 2022
The mural, which has started to peel, might not be able to be saved amid the demolition — but that hasn’t stopped its initial survival from making headlines and inspiring people to remember God’s promises.
Continue to pray for Dew, Garrett, other leaders, and parishioners who are hurting following this difficult loss.
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