Fire damages Lake Charles church - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fire damages Lake Charles church

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Flames tear through Shiloh Baptist Church in Lake Charles, leaving much of the building in shambles. But, this is not the first time Shiloh Baptist has made headlines.

"It's a burden, but we're resilient, and we are going to go forward. We're going to pick up the pieces from this point on," said pastor Barry Thomas.

To pick up those pieces, the fire department must first know exactly what happened. Investigators are currently looking into possible causes of the Tuesday night fire.

"[We're] looking at what we have left, talking to the firemen first on the scene about what they saw. The pictures of anyone who saw the fire, and then basically putting the puzzle together," said Wayne Rigmaiden with the Lake Charles Fire Department.

One member of the congregation was able to capture the burning building right from his phone. In the video you can hear him and a friend get emotional about the church, they attend, going up in smoke.

The fire is not the first setback Shiloh Baptist Church has had to overcome. Back in June of 2009, Pastor Barry Thomas was arrested after her allegedly fired fourteen shots into a Moss Bluff home, injuring two people. He was allegedly under the influence of drugs. When asked if he feared his run in with the law would come into play here, he had very little to say.

"Oh no, not at all. I have no, you know. You are doing your job, but obviously I'm... I have no fear about that at all," said Pastor Thomas.

Putting his past behind him, Pastor Thomas plans to move forward with the support of a congregation ready to lend a hand.

"I'm helping with the cleanup, and whatever the pastor needs me to do I am here to aid him," said Zavier Lewis.

"The word of God says, all things work together for the good of him, for those of us who love him, and for those called according to his purpose. So, from here it's all good," said Renee Thomas.

The building cannot be used, so for now, the church will meet in the field next to the building for services.

This fire remains under investigation, and according to the Lake Charles fire department we should know more tomorrow.

as far as the case surrounding pastor Thomas, the District Attorney's office tells 7 News the case should go before the Grand Jury within the next two weeks.  

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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