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Congregation Carries On After Church Fire

Love, Faith and Praise Church (CBS)

Love, Faith and Praise Church (CBS)

Derrick Blakley Derrick Blakley
Derrick Blakley is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS)–Sunday was a day of worship and praise as usual for one South Side congregation. But this weekend, they were across the street from their burned-out church.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports.

As he approached what was left of his fire-damaged church, Pastor Ronald Richardson couldn’t hold back the tears.

“This fire has really hurt me. To see our work go down like that — 10 years of work,” he said.

That’s how long Richardson toiled to renovate and re-establish the Englewood church that’s stood there more than 120 years.

This morning Love, Faith and Praise Church member worshiped across the street, at Antioch Baptist South, a warm welcome that eased Pastor Richardson’s pain.

Pastor Carsie Barnes of Antioch Baptist Church South said, “We just need to push him to let him know he’s going to make it.”

The fire broke out early Friday morning, destroying the rear of the building that the pastor had hoped to renovate for a gymnasium and community center, part of plans to reach out to Englewood’s youth.

And as church members prayed outside their fire-ravaged church, their pastor was reaffirming his belief in resurrection.

When asked if they would rebuild the church the pastor replied, “If the Lord give us strength. If the Lord give us strength, we’re gonna do just that”.