INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A church is picking up the pieces after a weekend fire seriously damaged its building.
Crews with the Indianapolis Fire Department went around 11:16 a.m. Sunday to Bethany Rembrandt Church of God Sanctified, 908 Edgemont Ave., and found smoke showing from the church’s roof. Though several people were inside the church at the time, everyone got out safely. No one was injured in the fire.
It was a normal Sunday at the church until smoke started coming out of the light fixtures. At first, they thought the smoke could have been coming from the furnace due to it being turned on for the first time this season. Members walked outside the find smoke rolling out of the top of the building.
“The firefighters are going up there slinging wood off the top of it trying to get to the inside of it. You can see water squirting out of it and everything,” said church member Georgia Rustin.
“Then when we seen the building leaning and the bricks getting ready to fall we knew it was a lot of damage,” said Eric Floyd, the senior pastor.
Fire officials estimate $100,000 in damage.
“The entire length of the building is completely destroyed, pews, everything, lights, everything is just completely burnt,” Floyd said.
Preliminary investigations showed an electrical issue may have started the fire.
“It just shows me how little control over life that we have,” Floyd said.
Members of the church on Monday remained in shock.
“It felt like a bad nightmare, like a bad dream. Then I still come back, like, to this day and I am, like, it can’t be real. It don’t feel, like, the church we have been going to all this time could just fall apart like that,” Rustin said.
Church leaders were staying positive and looking to the future. “You know, God has never let us down yet. He has a good track record with us. So we are depending on his track record and his faithfulness,” Floyd said.
The front of the building wasn’t affected by the fire and, if fire officials say it is structurally sound, the church planned to continue worshipping there.
“Hopefully, we will be here on Sunday. We have been praying that that happens,” Floyd said.
Although there were questions left to be answered, the church set up a fundraising account at Regions bank where any donations can be made out to Bethany Rembrandt Church of God.