Congregation gathers after massive fire

(WISH Photo)

GREENCASTLE, Ind. (WISH) – Massive flames may have destroyed their church building, but just days later a Putnam County congregation didn’t let that stop them from holding Sunday services.

More than 100 members of LifeSpring Church in Greencastle gathered to share tears, memories, and the promise to rebuild in the auditorium of an educational career center across town Sunday afternoon.

It was the first time the congregation of 130-150 people has all been together since the massive fire Friday morning.

“I thought, you know, we’re going to have church Sunday no matter where it is, and our church is going to be together and, to me, that meant everything,” said Cliff Taylor, a church member and former elder who said he’s hopeful to find purpose out of the tragedy. “(God’s) plans are better than ours.”

“LifeSpring Church is here for a reason and a purpose and a mission,” said Senior Pastor Gerron Ayento during the service. “And we’re going to get through this together.”

Taylor said they’d done a lot of remodeling to the old building over the years.

“Within an hour, it was all gone,” he said.

Investigators said the fire appeared to have started at the west end of the building and spread quickly. 100 firefighters worked to put it out. There’s no word yet on what caused the fire.

Ayento said the church has had a lot of support from the community over the last two days, including offers for a place for them to worship rent-free until they rebuild.

Church leaders said they planned on meeting soon to decide on a plan to rebuild.

As part of their worship service, they shared memories and some tears, but not just tears of sadness. They were also thankful that no one was hurt.

“Everything we lost in that fire was just stuff,” said one man.

“The building’s gone but our church family is still here,” said Taylor. “And we’re still going.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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