A Georgia church has been declared a total loss after a massive fire broke out during a church service Wednesday night.
Members of Douglas Christian Fellowship Church are feeling blessed after dozens of families with their children escaped a fire that erupted inside during the night worship service.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Initial reports say a propane tank at the church exploded.
Officials say the fire took less than 10 minutes to turn the church located on the 2700 block of East Baker Highway to mostly rubble.
More than 30 members of the congregation were inside the church for a kid’s ministry. Around 7 p.m., they began to notice and smell smoke during the service.
Rangers from a State Forestry Commission office across the street saw the fire and alerted everyone inside to get out.
“I feel the initial shock of it last night was a little overwhelming but now that I had time to sit back and assess things, I just trust that God’s got a plan and that our best days are ahead of us not behind us,” Senior Pastor Heath Wingard told WALB News.
During a live stream of Douglas Christian Fellowship Church of God, members can be seen pointing to something off in the distance while worship leaders were singing.
Andrea Thompson and Amy Medderis, two leaders within the church, helped get people out of the sanctuary as the fire spread.
Everyone got out safely — only to watch as the fire engulfed the church. No one was hurt.
“We were heartbroken watching a place that we love just go up in ashes and you can’t do nothing about it,” Thompson said.
“According to the word, out of our ashes, He will give us beauty. So I just believe that we’re going to build back stronger and better and that through this, you know we’re able to make a greater impact on our community,” Wingard said.
Wingard said service will still continue on Sunday at 11:30 am in the parking lot.
The pastor is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.
(Agencies Picture Courtesy: DouglasNow)