Cottondale Church Believed to be Total Loss Following Morning Fire

Cottondale- Shortly after receiving the call around 5:45 am, Pastor Jack Brock was on the scene of the devastating fire at the church he's been the pastor of for 27 years.

"When I came, there was smoke boiling out the sanctuary and this middle building. I knew it was bad when I got here and just emotionally broke down," Brock said with tears in his eyes. "It's like watching your own home when you've been here attached that long."

But he didn't break down alone. Surrounded by many members of his congregation, the community was rallying around their beloved church.

"I got a phone call, I think around 6:30 this morning," Anthony Brothers, the Minister of Music recalled, "and it was the pastors daughter and she was crying. I asked what was wrong, and she told me that the church was on fire and smoke was coming out the doors and the windows. I just jumped in the car and came down this way."

Officials believed the fire was the result of an electrical short.

"From the naked eye it looks like a total loss," Jackson County Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief, Will Arroyo said, "but I'm not an engineer. An engineer can probably come out and do something with the building. The building you see right behind me, the two story building right there. But the congregation building also has some heat and smoke damage."

For now, Brock said he was just trying to salvage what he could.

"I've got 30 something years of ministry notes- things you hang onto. I've got a record book, that I still haven't gotten out, of every person that I've baptized; every funeral that I've done- names dates; and every marriage that I've preformed."

He told us he was relying on his faith to pull him through the difficult time.

"I preached yesterday morning on praising the Lord in good and bad times and here's a perfect example and opportunity. We praise the Lord nobody was hurt and that the church is still intact because it's the body of Christ that is the church."

Members planned to hold services Sunday in the church's youth building.