Update: First Christian Church hold 1st service since fire - WRBL

Update: First Christian Church hold 1st service since fire

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WASHINGTON, N.C. - The First Christian Church in Washington is turning tears of sorrow into songs of praise.

On Sunday, members, visitors, and supporters packed the Red Men’s Lodge for service. It was the first service since a fire destroyed the more than 120-year-old church on Monday.

"Your heart just sinks to the see the smoke [coming] from the building Monday evening. The important thing is that it's just a structure [and] the important thing is the people," said Church Board Vice Moderator Jesse Dail.

On Sunday, more than 100 people showed up to worship despite losing the building.

Acting Senior Pastor, Chad Penhorwood, says the the spirit of First Christian Church is in the people not the building.

"I want you to look at everyone in this room.[Look at] those behind you, those beside you, those in front of you, and each and every person that is in this room. This is the church," said Penhorwood.

Church leaders say this week their insurance company is conducting its own investigation of the fire. After that investigation is done, the church can determine what it will do next.

Church leaders say they will continue to hold services at the Red Men’s Lodge as long as it will have them.

"God never gives us more than we handle. We will pull together, pull through this, and come out stronger on the other side," Dail.


------------previous story--------------
The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) began investigating a fire in a Beaufort County church Tuesday morning.

Washington Fire Chief Robbie Rose says there's no suspicion of foul play; this is standard procedure with a fire this large happening in a church.

We're told the First Christian Church at 402 E. 2nd Street in Washington caught fire around 2:45 Monday afternoon. Firefighters on scene say the fire started in the sanctuary.

Fire Chief Robbie Rose says more than 100 firefighters responded. He says a metal roof caused some trouble for the firefighters.

On scene we could see crews bringing valuables outside of the 123 year old church, including paintings. The church's website says it was built in 1891.

It's not clear yet what started the fire or how much of the building has been damaged. 

The church will still hold a Sunday service starting at 10 AM at the Red Men's Lodge.
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