MAYWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- The pastor and congregation of a Maywood church and keeping the faith and looking for a way forward after a devastating fire.
The fire broke out Monday afternoon at the New Life in Christ Bible Church in the 1600-block of South 15th Avenue.
The massive blaze destroyed all but the outer shell of the structure, and caused the roof to cave in. It was struck out about three hours after it started. The cause of the fire is under investigation and not yet known.
A day later Senior Pastor Ronald Beamon reflected on the structure that's been his church home for the last 27 years.
"They're not sure. We have no idea. We were just celebrating Christmas a Sunday ago and everything was intact. Everything was beautiful and it's just hard to believe it's gone so fast," he said.
Pastor Beamon said the church had just installed a new roof last year.
"We were so proud to see a brand new roof put on the church and to see it today just totally destroyed," he said, choking up.
The building has a lot of history. Before housing New Life in Christ Bible Church, it was the original home of Maywood's Rock of Ages Baptist, which now boasts a 1,200 seat sanctuary just a short distance away. Its pastor, Marvin Wiley, has already reached out in hopes of helping Beamon and his congregation get back on their feet elsewhere.
"The building means so much. It means so much. Pastor Beamon and his congregation bought it and we're going to help them. Because they're not going to be able to build here. Let's be real. But we're going to help them find somewhere they can carry on their ministry," Wiley said.
Pastor Beamon said his members are working on setting up a fundraiser for the church. He hopes to have more news about this and where services will be held this coming Sunday during a prayer line scheduled for Wednesday.