Church members showed up to worship Sunday morning at Church 213 only to find out that it had burnt down earlier that day.
The church, which had been at its 1675 County Rd. 213 location since its creation seven years ago, suffered a total loss at the worship center, and damage to the children’s building.
Newton County Fire Services Deputy Chief Brad Stapp said 911 received a call around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, and when the first units arrived the main church building was “heavily involved in fire.”
Congregation members spread the word of the fire through social media, but some didn’t notice until they arrived for service. Due to the fire there wasn’t a worship service at Church 213 Sunday morning, but Mansfield Baptist Church allowed the use of its facility for a 4 p.m. service.
According to Church 213 Pastor Stan Patterson about 230 members attend the church. He also said the church’s leadership was to meet Monday evening and discuss were the church will meet going forward.
“The community has been incredible,” Patterson said. “Private schools, gyms and a couple of churches have already offered their facilities. It has been amazing, the outpouring of support.”
Patterson received calls Sunday and Monday of condolence and offering help from throughout the United States and also the Dominican Republic. Church members recently took a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and Patterson said the point person called and said he’s going to try to raise some money and send it to them.
“My wife and I both cried when we heard that,” Patterson said.