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Crouch Memorial Church: After the Fire

Pastor Lawrence E. Magee of Crouch Memorial Church of God in Christ, surveys the damage done to his church from a fire that he believes he accidentally started. In preparation for Morning Prayer, he turned the heater on in the chapel to test it. Minutes later, the church was engulfed in flames. Several firefighters were injured in the blaze when the roof caved in. Today Pastor Magee is meeting with investigators to more fully determine the cause of the fire. The church has a very small membership and it is unlikely that they will have the funds to rebuild. A picture of the church before the blaze is shown on Pastor Magee’s cellphone.

The church’s piano was destroyed in the blaze. The roof collapsed injuring several firefighters.

A church hymnal survived the blaze virtually unscathed. Some parishioners see it as a sign that God is at work.

Pastor Magee notifies his congregation that services will temporarily be held at another nearby church.

Pastor Magee meets with members of the congregation and discusses the damage to the church.

Kevin Crouch (left) whose uncle founded the church, prays with Pastor Magee and others during the service following the fire.

Pastor Magee prays.

Paster Magee meets with members of the congregation to discuss how to proceed after the fire. It is not clear whether the church is insured to fully rebuild.

In July, Pastor Magee, Kevin Crouch (nephew of the church’s founder), Olivia Hodges and Lawrence Sears joyfully leave City Hall after meeting with officials in the city’s Historic Preservation Department. Their prayers appear to have been answered: the church can be saved. They will need to do some creative fundraising and believe God will answer their prayers.