Early in the morning on Sunday, March 3, a fire consumed the building of Freedom Ministries Church in Grandview, West Virginia. But remarkably, none of the Bibles or crosses in the church were destroyed by the fire.
“Picture this, a building so hot that at one point in time, firefighters had to back out. In your mind, everything should be burned, ashes. Not a single Bible was burned and not a single cross was harmed!! Not a single firefighter was hurt!” wrote the Coal City Fire Department in a Facebook post about the incident.
Several fire departments in the area responded to calls about the fire just after midnight on March 3. When firefighters arrived, flames had entirely enveloped the church building. One man who lives on the same street as the church was alerted about the fire by his smart doorbell around 1:30 a.m. When he looked outside, he saw that the building was surrounded by flames, some of which he says were up to 50 feet in the air. There is an ongoing investigation into how the fire started, but so far the cause is unknown.
Facebook Used for Debate and Support
Freedom Ministries cancelled its service that morning and, on its Facebook page, asked families to pray together in God’s presence. Later, the church posted again on Facebook, saying, “We have a heavy heart this morning, our church had a fire last night. We will have to rebuild but we will be OK. We will fight the enemy and not let him hold us down.” The church cannot begin cleaning and rebuilding, however, until the fire marshals are done with their investigation into the fire’s origin.
In the comments on the Coal City Fire Department’s post, people have been conducting an extensive debate about whether the preservation of the Bibles was truly a miracle. Many have chimed in with their own experiences of witnessing Bibles survive fires and other disasters (such as floods). One woman, who seems to believe in God, observed that books often survive fires when they are closed. Yet others have expressed a committed and aggressive skepticism.
The comments on the church’s Facebook post, however, are overwhelmingly full of people conveying their support and saying that they are praying for the church. On March 5, the church commented on its post, saying, “We are overwhelmed with all the love, prayers, concerns, and offers of help!! God is working, we know. We cant [sic] thank you all enough. Please know we love you and are for ever [sic] grateful.”