Pastor Jeremiah Elijah, VIII, was sleeping in a Chevrolet Equinox on his way home to Virginia when a fire started that would eventually destroy the vehicle. Thankfully, Elijah and the woman who was driving him survived—along with the pastor’s Bible, an heirloom from his grandfather.
“It was a tragic moment,” Elijah told ChurchLeaders, recounting the experience of waking from sleep. “Next thing I knew, my eyes opened and it was fire. I just jumped out.”
Pastor’s Bible Survives Blaze
Jeremiah Elijah, VIII, started the church, JME Apostolic Ministries of Temple, in Durham, North Carolina, a year ago and was returning home in the early morning hours of Monday, July 25, after having preached at the church on Sunday.
“At 3:02 am this morning company 16 was dispatched to assist Company 17 with a vehicle fire on 29 northbound just north of Browns Mill Rd,” said the Rustburg Volunteer Fire Department in a Facebook post on July 25. The fire department is located in Rustburg, Virginia, and serves Campbell County.
According to WSLS 10, a woman was driving the Chevy Equinox north on Route 29 when flames started coming from the engine of the car. She pulled over after another driver flashed his lights at her to alert her that the car was on fire.
“Units arrived on the scene to find a Chevrolet Equinox fully involved,” said the department. “Attack 16 was able to suppress the fire with the [assistance] of Company 10 who provided [additional] water and lane blockage. If you look at the fire damage of the car it is totally burned out, but inside was a Bible that was still intact and mostly unburnt.”
“It pretty well gutted the car out,” Lieutenant Eric Spitzer told ChurchLeaders. Elijah and the woman who had been driving had both left the scene when someone told Spitzer that there was a Bible in the car.
The pastor’s Bible had been in a suitcase and Spitzer noted that the Bible was not closed when the fire occurred. “The Bible was open,” he said, exactly as it appears in photos Spitzer took that the fire department posted to Facebook.