First Congo Church Pastor After Fire: “We will emerge out of this stronger then we were before”

Local News

Leaders at a midtown Memphis church are regrouping and rethinking their next steps, after a major fire gutted their ministries.

Memphis fire investigators estimate Sunday morning’s fire at First Congregational Church in Cooper-Young led to $350,000 in damages. The cause is still unknown.

The fire started in this basement of First Congo’s middle building, ‘The Hub,’ which serves supplies, clothing, and food to 3000 people a month.

Despite the setbacks of this fire, out of these ashes comes a new opportunity for this church family.

“We will emerge out of this stronger then we were before. I’m confident of that,” says Pastor Cheryl Cornish.

Pastor Cornish is relying on her faith for a fresh start, after a Sunday morning fire gutted and charred an area of First Congregational Church dedicated to giving back.

“It’s very gratifying because there are folks where this is really a lifeline for them,” says Pastor Cornish.

Pastor Cornish said the damages will stop the daily ‘Cafe Congo’ lunch service this week. Church leaders will spend the next 48 hours deciding how to keep the service, and other clothing and grocery ministries in that damaged space, afloat, until it can reopen in a few months.

“We are going to have regroup and come up with a new plan on how to do that, it may be in another part of the building, it may be serving in a different kind of way,” says Pastor Cornish.

The church’s pastor said the adjoining hostel and sanctuary are pretty much okay, and Sunday service will be held inside as normal this weekend.

To make a donation or help First Congo replenish some of its destroyed supplies, CLICK HERE.

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