Fire burns church in Massac County

MASSAC COUNTY, Ill. (KBSI) – Firefighters fought a fire at a 125-year-old church in Massac County.

St. John’s Church suffered heavy damage when a fire broke out after it was struck by lightning around 4:49 a.m. Monday.

“At one time this church would have been the center for community,” said St. John’s Church Pastor Jeff Bremer. “People didn’t drive much. It sure has taken a toll on the people who do come here. It’s a loving church and a big family.”

St. John’s is a four-points church meaning it sits on four pieces of land that was donated for the church.

Bremer says church members are meeting Monday night to make some decisions about what to do. He says the church does have insurance.

“I’ve got four or five churches that’s already said we could use there’s on off times,” said Bremer. “I’ve got another neighbor up the road that has an empty house to refurbish. He said we could go here. “We’re not going to miss church so Wednesday night we’ll be somewhere and next Sunday somewhere.”

Bremer says this past Sunday, the church had one of its biggest crowds.

“To have 48 people, that’s a big deal,” said Bremer. “We were excited. We probably hadn’t had that many for months or a year. As a matter of fact, we talked about how fun church is and how much we learned, grown. It’s nice to see young people there and excited to learn. We’re not going to let change any of that. We’re going to go on and keep teaching Jesus Christ and about being saved and that’s what it’s all about. Even though it’s a beautiful building, it’s not about those walls. It’s about the people inside of it.”

Bremer says he’s fairly confident the congregation will want to rebuild.

“There’s lots and lots of generations of families through this church and relatives in the cemetery. We’re kind of attached to this spot. We’ll be here,” said Bremer. “Just because you believe in Jesus and God doesn’t mean everything’s going to go that way you want. There’s no guarantees, but it’s how you handle it. If you finish the race and run the course, that’s what we intend to do here.”

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