California church survives flames after most of town burns down

The First Baptist Church of Paradist, California, managed to survive the devastating fire that has destroyed much of the town. (PHOTO: Facebook)

Originally published in Christian Today

A church in Paradise, northern California, is still standing after most of the town was devastated by the horrific Camp Fire.

The fire — the most destructive in the state’s history — has burned down 8 800 structures and according to Fox News has killed at least 56 people and authorities say 130 are unaccounted for.

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11 000 to the north of Paradise.

Fuelled by dry weather and heavy winds, the Camp Fire is also blamed for burning up more than 115 000 acres, CBS News has reported.

In Paradise, where ABCNews reports that “most of the community [is] gone”, the First Baptist Church is miraculously still standing.

A picture taken on Sunday morning and posted to its Facebook page shows the church building intact as a cloud of smoke hovers nearby.

The church has been using Facebook to help locate people and confirm their wellbeing.

Churches and ministries are gearing up to help those in California affected by the major wildfires that are devastating parts of the state according to The Christian Post.

Some ministries have already begun to send aid to the state. Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team announced Friday that they were bringing supplies like water, food, and blankets to their facility in Chico, California, for distribution to the needy.

Chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team have already been deployed near Sacramento to help comfort those who are suffering due to the fires.

“The chaplains are there to try to help people get through just the next hour of their life,” said Al New, the Rapid Response Team’s manager of emergency response and logistics.

Christian Today went on to add that another church close to First Baptist, Paradise Alliance Church, is also using Facebook to connect members of the congregation, who like most of the town have evacuated the area.

Lead Pastor Josh Gallagher said he was praying that God would use the church to bring revival after the devastation.

“God, give us Your comfort and allow us to grieve well,” he prayed in a recent Facebook Live.

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