The congregation of United Methodist Church in Enterprise is trying to move ahead after a fire destroyed their beloved church early Tuesday morning.
Investigators with the state fire marshal's office believe the fire started accidentally in a furnace above the church's fellowship hall, burned through the ceiling, then spread onto the floor of the sanctuary, said the Rev. Charles Waddell, pastor of the church.
The church was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived at about 3:30 Tuesday morning, he said.
No one was injured in the fire, which took firefighters from Stonewall, Enterprise, Pachuta and Quitman several hours to extinguish, according to Clarke County Fire Coordinator Eddie Ivy.
Waddell said support — financial and otherwise — is pouring in to help the congregation find a place to worship. A pastor at a local Baptist church has offered the use of its old sanctuary.
"They worship in their gymnasium — the sanctuary hasn't been used," Waddell said. "He told me we could use it as long as we need to be there. It's like God suddenly opened up the sky and sent a great blessing," he said.
The United Methodist Church's sanctuary was built in 1936, and the fellowship hall and annex were added in the early 1960s, Waddell said. Church trustees plan to meet today to lay out a plan to rebuild the church, he said.
"We're going to take it day by day as far the future goes," he said.