Local churches band together after fire

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — After worshipping in their Birmingham church for twenty years, members of Covenant Church International do not have a place to hold Sunday services.  The church burned to the ground Saturday afternoon.

Pastor P. Ronald Wilder says he was devastated after a fire destroyed his church.

“I am hurting deeply inside,” Wilder said. “When I finally got a chance to go in my office yesterday it was a total loss, all my notes and CD’s and personal items I’ve gained in 40 years of ministry I lost it all. Things that can never be replaced.”

But Wilder and his church members also have plenty to appreciate.  The church was empty and no one was hurt.  Wilder’s best friend, Bishop Theo Bailey, is letting Wilder’s congregation use space at Christ Temple Deliverance Church in Ensley.

“Well, he has made it available to us for however long we need it, and we will take that,” Wilder said. “Our churches are very comfortable, we are like sister churches, but we don’t know how long we will stay here or how this will play out. But in the short term, we will be here for a minute.”

According to Bishop Bailey, it is just the right thing to do.

“I think that is what we do in the christian community, we are there for each other,” Bailey said. “Our worship times will not conflict.  We do these things to help people in need.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined.  Fire officials are investigating.

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