Friendship Church in Centralia considered total loss after weekend fire

Friendship Church in Centralia considered total loss after weekend fire

AUDRAIN COUNTY, Mo. - UPDATE 4:00 p.m.: Senior Pastor Jed Angell of Friendship Church said the fire left everyone stunned, but each one of their members remain united and hopeful. 

Fire investigators arrived at 1:30 p.m. to wrap up the final stages of the investigation, but according to Little Dixie Fire Protection District the fire has been ruled accidental. 

Angell told ABC 17 News he is being strong since this happened over the weekend, but one text message from Mandy Power, a church member, really had him in tears:

"You were made for this, Jed. God uses you in beautiful, messy, redeeming ways and this will be one of those times. I've been praying this morning and that's what I keep coming to. The Holy Spirit has always led you in looking past the yuck ... past the broken and toward His Kingdom. It's that obedience to His truth that has given you such a love for His Church and the stamina to encourage. We are praying for your encouragement this morning, asking God to use this disaster in the most amazing, awe-inspiring ways, that you would be able to say often, 'And then He did THIS.' We are mourning that precious building with our brothers and sisters. So many life giving, life changing, hard, joyous, grieving, and downright hilarious memories we have made inside those walls. I fell in love with Jesus there. It was a truly special place because the people made it so. And they will again. We love you, we love Friendship, and we will be praying His love and mercy is heavy on the hearts of everyone who calls Friendship home this morning," Power said.

Pastor Angell said he expects Tuesday's final steps to confirm the initial cause as accidental and is grateful for the outpour of support within the community of Centralia.

"I have heard from every single church in Centralia about how can we help you, you know... We are all in this together and so that's encouraging too," Angell said. 

The church is now scheduled to meet at their Youth and Activity center called Friendship place at 110 N. Rollins St. in Centralia, Missouri with services times as usual, 8 a.m and 10 a.m. 

UPDATE 12:05 pm: Firefighters said the cause of the fire has been ruled accidental but they were unable to confirm if it was electrical. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Multiple agencies were called to a fire Saturday night that left the Friendship Church building a total loss. 

ABC 17 News previously reported, that the Little Dixie Fire Protection District said a janitor had found smoke inside the church.

ABC 17 News was told Tuesday that the Friendship Church board will be having its monthly meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. when it will also address what's next for the church family.

According to a church staff member, all apart of the congregation are welcome to attend. 


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