Fire destroys Youngstown church


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — All Pastor Chorrethers Jenkins and his wife, Stephanie, could do was watch as fire destroyed their East Side church on Monday morning.

“At this moment, I am numb. But, I have got to believe all things are going to work for the good,” Pastor Jenkins said.

The fire started about 3 a.m. at a home next door and quickly spread to Grace Evangelistic Temple Ministries on Shehy Street.

“The fire had gotten up into the ceiling. We had low water pressure, couldn’t get to it. Ended up taking the roof off the church,” said Youngstown Fire Capt. Terry Stephens.

A parishioner alerted Pastor Jenkins, who lives right next door to the church.

“My neighbor came from across the street and she began to hit on the door and she said ‘pastor, there’s smoke coming out of the church’,” Jenkins said.

He came out to find firefighters battling smoke and flames at the 100-year-old church.

“The beautiful stained glass windows. The bricks were cut on the property. The ceilings were birch wood. It had so much in it. So many memories,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins reached out to the insurance company to evaluate the damage. But for now, he’s just trying to make sense of it all.

“I am praying and I am certainly asking everyone to pray for us on the East side here,” Jenkins said.

About 100 people attend the church.

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