Birmingham Fire investigating overnight church fire

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: An overnight fire at a church in Ensley has left a church family without a house of worship. The building is a total loss, but the pastor says what’s most important to him right now is keeping his church family together.

“We’re looking forward to going ahead and getting the kids their Christmas speeches which was going to be done today and because of what happened we weren’t able to do it and to decorate the church for Christmas,” said Donald Moulton, Pastor at Broken Vessel United Missionary Gospel Baptist Church on Court V in Ensley.

Instead, pastor Moulton, his brother, a friend and church deacon Brandon Lee spent Sunday afternoon boarding up the burned out structure.

“This is home and whatever it takes to take care of home we’ve got to do,” said Lee.

Captain Bryan Harrell with the Birmingham Fire Department said the call came in just before 1:30 a.m.  A rescue crew out on a different call had spotted smoke coming from the church.

“It was really devastating to see it go up in flames after all the hard work we’ve been doing trying to do the ministry,” said Moulton.

Moulton said when he arrived at the fire some of the members of his congregation were there as well.

“A lot of them are saying,’Pastor, what are we going to do?’” he said. “That’s the critical part because it’s right at the holiday season for the kids and for Christmas carols and all of the kind of stuff that churches do and families coming together”

He said he met with some of his church members Sunday morning and they’ve decided together to do the only thing they know to do: move forward.

“We’ll find a place to Worship in to do what we’ve normally been doing every Sunday, every Wednesday and will continue having revivals and everything else. We’re going to continue serving the Lord,” said Moulton.

Even with the loss Moulton said he believes it’s an opportunity for them all.

“I think it’s an opportunity even for us to grow closer to the Lord,  to trust him in this situation,” he said.

“That togetherness to me is worth it regardless of what the cause may be,” said Lee.

ORIGINAL: Birmingham fire crews are looking into what caused a fire at a church. It happened around early Sunday morning in the Ensley community.

Birmingham Fire tweeted a picture of crews knocking the fire down around 12:30am. The fire happened at Broken Vessel United Missionary Baptist Church on Court V.

Fire officials say the church is a total loss and the cause appears to be accidental.

CBS 42 will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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