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MIDLAND, Pa. (KDKA) – A fire destroyed a Beaver County church early Saturday morning.
Several fire departments responded to the fire at the First Baptist Church at the corner of Fifth Street and Penn Avenue in Midland.
The fire started at about 12:30 a.m.
“You could look through the windows and see each pew go [up in flames] and be engulfed in flames and then the window blew out,” church member Sidney James said.
Another church is offering the congregation a place to worship on Sunday.
“We serve a god who takes messes and makes a message out of it, so we certainly are leaning and depending on our faith during this time,” Pastor Cordell Fountain said.
“It’s an institution here and there’s just no words, sir. None except that we will remain vigilant and we will recover,” church member Joanne Steward said.
The congregation had just celebrated the church’s 105th anniversary in August, but now the building will have to be demolished.
“There is a good bit of history here. Lots of weddings and baby dedications and homegoing celebrations, so it’s quite a bit of that. But again, we trust the lord will help us to rebuild the church,” Fountain said.
“My elders that have gone on were original founders at this church. I am a member. We’re a strong congregation and behind every disaster there is a blessing,” Steward said.
Firefighters from seven departments kept flames from spreading to two adjacent houses and while they could not save the building, members of the congregation say it’s only a building and the church will survive.