Fire damage extensive in East Knoxville church

Fire damage extensive in East Knoxville church


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The entire west wing of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in East Knoxville was destroyed by fire.

Pastor Leroy Franklin gave a tour of the damage Wednesday. The smell of smoke in the church was overwhelming.

The west wing, where most of the damage occurred, included the main sanctuary. It was built in 1975.

In 2004, a new addition was added that included several classrooms and a large multi-purpose room.

The new construction was protected by two fire walls. The hall between the two portions of the church was heavily damaged.

Church members had decorated the hall Sunday with Christmas trees and a large nativity set. All of the items were damaged with water and soot.

"Kind of gives you a new slant on Christmas -- the strain that God went through to show us that he loved us, in tough times," said Rev. Franklin.

Crews have already started to clean up the multi-purpose room. Church members used that room for services when the main sanctuary was remodeled and they plan to reuse it for services in two weeks.    

Rev. Franklin just wants the community to do one thing. "Keep praying," he said. "This will pass."

Wednesday night activities were not held due to the fire and a Christmas drama planned for Saturday was also canceled.

The church also runs day care for Alzheimer and dementia patients.

Currently they have 17 participants. The room they use was not damaged. Church members hope to have it back up and running soon.

Church services will be held this Sunday at Vine Middle School 1807 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue at 10:00 a.m.

The church has more than 400 members.




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