Columbus pastor asks for help after fire destroys church - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus pastor asks for help after fire destroys church

Pastor Joseph D. Johnson, of New Linwood Baptist Church of Columbus, watched his livelihood of nine years literally go up in flames early Tuesday morning, when a fire destroyed his church.

"Everyone is devastated, everybody is trying to figure out what is going on, especially in our area because of all the fires, we don't want to narrow it down to New Linwood, but we are concerned about our neighbors," Johnson said.

The flames also destroyed a vacant house behind the church and caused an exposure fire in the attic of the neighboring home.

Johnson and the 25-member congregation made do with what they had and scheduled a prayer conference call for their Sunday worship.

"We had some people call in from across the country to share with us this morning and we just gave a little plan to move forward in keeping us together. We know the enemy is trying to divide us, but we won't let that happen," Johnson said.

Chairs, pews and a sound system including, drum sets, keyboards and amps were only some of the items lost in the fire.

Even though members want to know why someone would do this to their church, Johnson says they are walking by their faith and forgives those responsible.

"We trust God, so to them we forgive you and we believe God is going to give glory out of this and only we're going to be able to say look at what the Lord has done," says Johnson.

Johnson has set up an account online for anyone wishing to donate to the rebuilding of New Linwood, he is also asking for prayers as a new year begins.

"We believe in 2015 as the year of restoration, so what a way to start it off with this fire and then watch God restore us," Johnson said.

For those wishing to donate, visit the Facebook page of New Linwood Baptist Church AKA The Wood.

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