Freeport Fire Destroys Church and Food Bank

By: Alex Denis
By: Alex Denis

Damascus Pentecostal Ministries in Freeport has heavy damages after a big fire Wednesday night. Despite firefighters’ best efforts, the church's parish center was destroyed.

Church members are upset about the fire, but what was lost inside the building has community members heartbroken.

Wednesday evening, fire crews from around the area joined together to fight a blaze that tore through Damascus Pentecostal Ministries.

When Freeport's fire chief got the call, he says he immediately thought about the church's food bank.

Bennett Greenslait, Freeport Fire Chief, said, "Losing this food bank is going to be a devastation to our community."

As the building burned, so did the storage room filled with food. Pastor Charles Carlton says every month about 50 families rely on the food bank, and he wants to make sure they still get fed.

Charles Carlton said, "We're trying to relocate the food bank into another building and to be able to try to establish and keep going the way we were and give out food to the needy."

The only thing missing is food, and Chief Greenslait says he hopes the community will pull together and help.

"I'd like to see any grocery stores, any business out there that would like to donate, to help this food bank and help the community get back on its feet."

Despite all the damage, Pastor Carlton says he has hope for the future.

"The building isn't the church, first of all, and the church is still intact even though we lost the building. The church is still intact, and that's the beauty of it. The church is going forward."

Fire marshals are still investigating the exact cause of the fire. They did say it appears to be connected to an electrical problem. If you'd like to donate to the church's food bank, you're asked to call 892-0987.

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