Columbus church fire ruled an accident, still accepting donations

Columbus church fire ruled an accident, still accepting donations

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Members of Igelsia de Dios Nuevo Pacto were in shock when the blaze destroyed their sanctuary more than a week ago.

Firefighters are now ruling the fire as accidental, and they say it started in an office from a wall-mounted space heater.

It's a heartbreaking situation for the members of Nuevo Pacto. Their church building is in ashes, but it's not stopping their prayers.

"It's mixed feelings, it's unified us and made us stronger," said Pastor Juan Carlos Diaz.

Pastor Diaz is now holding Tuesday morning prayer and Sunday services at Fairview Baptist Church on Reese Road.

He took us back to his church on Primrose Road on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

"We met here almost a year ago... and it's hard to come here and it's no longer there," said Pastor Diaz, who met his bride here.

The sentimental value of the burned building runs deep. The church's history traces back to downtown Columbus 27 years ago and the membership represents 14 different countries.

"I'm very joyful because everything that happens, happens for a reason," said church member Nicole Negron from Puerto Rico. "God allows it for a reason and it allows us to continue growing."

Back at the church, Pastor Diaz found a proclamation commemorating its 25th anniversary.

Pastor Diaz says the prayers will continue as they now look for guidance from above.

Fire Marshal Ricky Shores says to avoid mishaps with heating units, it's a good to have a certified technician check it regularly.

In the meantime, Pastor Diaz and the members of Nuevo Pacto are standing strong despite a lot of tears over the place many called their second home.

The pastor says they did have insurance on the building. They're in the process of sorting out where to rebuild or relocate, and they are also accepting donations.


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