Church needs place to worship after lightning strike fire

Members of the Strait Gate Apostolic Church are scrambling to find a place to meet this Sunday after the Richmond Hill Road church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, its pastor said.


Firefighters arrived at 6:20 a.m. on Friday to find the roof fully engulfed and collapsing, said Battalion Chief Ivan Bolgla.

"We lost everything," said the Rev. Charles Herrington, who founded the church in 1994. "We didn't save anything. We lost the commercial kitchen, DVD players, drum sets, computers, all of it."

The Rev. Herrington says he doesn't yet know where the church's 150 members will meet this Sunday, but "we'll meet somehow."

Eventually, he said, the church will rebuild its facilities on site.

"People understand this happens," the Rev. Herrington said. "It's an act of God. Lightning strikes, and there's nothing we can do about it."

The fire was reported this morning after thunderstorms rolled through the area.

At least five homeowners reported lightning strikes to houses near the church, said Capt. Tommy Cox of the fire department.

Reach Kelly Jasper at (706) 823-3552



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