Burned out Knoxville church holds service

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--An East Knoxville church held their first worship service Friday night after flames destroyed their sanctuary.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze at the Universal Church of Deliverance, but the spark still lives inside this congregation.

The congregation sang, "There was a fire next door, but there's a fire inside of us. It's the spirit of the living God!"

A fitting service filled with song and praise after a fire almost destroys their house of worship.

Bishop Allan Butler says, "Even though they are old buildings it's a building and we thank God we have it."

Thursday Bishop Allan Butler got the call he didn't expect.
His church was on fire.

Immediately he started praying.

Bishop Butler says, "Thank God for keeping our church."

Firefighters had to tear the wall apart to get to the fire.

And Friday night members gathered in that expect spot in the dark.

James Fischer says, "Even though something bad happened we're still prevailing."

Then they moved into their temporary church next store, which used to be a nightclub.

Bishop Butler's wife preached during the sermon.

While others held their hands up giving glory.

Others just thinking about what could have been.

And everyone sang "I'll fly away."

This church is more than just walls.

James Fischer says, "This church means my life. It's brought me out of bad places so it's everything to me."

They'll continue to worship here, while they restore the church next door.


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