FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - A 61-year-old church is a total loss following an early morning fire last Friday in Lauderdale County.
State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk reports the fire started from an electrical problem inside an interior wall and spread into the attic.
Firefighters responded to Shiloh Baptist Church off County Road 2 just after 5:30 a.m. on Friday. The fire had already damaged much of the building and continued to burn through the morning.
Just last week the congregation watched former University of Alabama linebacker, turned NFL rookie, Reggie Ragland be baptized at the church.
The destroyed church was built in 1955, but the Shiloh Baptist congregation has been meeting in the same location for 134 years.
"It's heartbreaking," said Pastor Michael Ray Timberlake. "To see this happen where we have shared our faith, our love for our Lord and savior, and our love for each other. But it is a building. That love and that faith is in our hearts, and this congregation will survive, and it will thrive."
The congregation of around 125 people will not let the fire prevent the church from holding service. A service will be held this Sunday at Grace Memorial Funeral Home in Sheffield starting at 10:00 a.m. on 501 Broad Street.
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