Local churches, residents react after New Life Assembly of God church destroyed by fire

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A massive fire destroyed a church early Saturday morning on Pine Street in Florence.

According to Florence City Battalion Chief Fire Marshal Ken Car the New Life Assembly Church caught fire around 4:30 a.m.

Car says it took firefighters two and a half hours and four departments to get the fire under control.

Christine Nowlin is a member of the New Life Assembly of God and a resident in the Pine Street community.

“I’m a member of this church and when I woke up this morning the church was on fire,” said Nowlin.

Nowlin lives three houses down from the church and despite the loss she says she is grateful that no one was hurt.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s heartbreaking, I can’t walk around here no more because it’s gone, might be another location but we will build back up,” mentioned Nowlin.

A.J. Jeffries is a long-time friend of the pastor’s family and church members. In fact, his church home is less than 10 minutes away, so he drove by the church Sunday afternoon to say a little prayer.

“We hurt for people that are devastated by this and it’s just a part of who we are,” Jeffries said.

Though only the frame of the church is still standing Jeffries says he has faith that the congregation will overcome this setback.

“Our pastor has a heart for this pastor and our church is going to do whatever it takes to make these people feel comfortable in this community, no matter what it takes,” added Jeffries.

There were no injuries to firefighters. The cause of the fire is not known and is being investigated by Florence’s joint Fire/Police investigation team.

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