Originally published in The Christian Post
Members of the Coal City Fire Department in West Virginia, USA, acknowledged God’s power on Sunday after a devastating fire burned down a local church but failed to destroy any of the Bibles inside.
“Picture this, a building so hot that at one point in time, firefighters had to back out. In your mind, everything should be burned, ashes. Not a single Bible was burned and not a single cross was harmed!! Not a single firefighter was hurt! Prayers for the pastor and the congregation today,” the fire department wrote in a post on Facebook about the fire that destroyed the Freedom Ministries Church early Sunday morning.
Firefighters say they were dispatched to the scene of the fire in Grandview, West Virginia at about 12:58 a.m. on Sunday to assist the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department.
“Though odds were against us, God was not,” the department said.
The Christian Post reached out to Freedom Ministries for comment on the fire Tuesday but officials did not immediately respond.
In a statement on Facebook, shared along with a photo of what appears to be smoke billowing from the burning church, the ministry vowed to rebuild.
“We have a heavy heart this morning, our church had a fire last night. We will have to rebuild but we will be OK. We will fight the enemy and not let him hold us down. We are coming back from Shabbach be at the church at 6-6:15 p.m. Please join us in prayer. We want to rally together and pray for Pastor Phil and Candice,” the statement said. “…in the midst of the smoke you can see Jesus. He was there with us! FREEDOM MINISTRIES IS UNDONE WE ARE NOT FINISH!!!”
The post from the Coal City Fire Department has since gone viral prompting more than 3 000 comments and nearly 40 000 shares on Facebook.
“Out of every structure fire I have responded to in the past 20 years, not one Bible has burned, they might have smoke damage or charred around the edges but you could still read every page. We gave the owners back a lot of Bibles over the years. It just goes to show that God’s word is more powerful than the devil’s fire and fury no matter how hot it gets. God was watching over all you guys last night, and every fire call y’all go on,” wrote Dean Vandall in the most popular comment on the post which had attracted nearly 7,000 reactions as of Tuesday morning.
Erin Hoover, who has worked as a volunteer firefighter, said she, too, has had a similar experience with a Bible in a major fire.
“I was a responding vol. firefighter on 9/11 to Flight 93 in Shanksville, Somerset County. We were walking in the woods yelling for survivors, and looking for the wreckage, when we got on scene. We found wallets and papers, blowing in the wind that were charred and burnt. Unreadable. We did, however, find a Bible. Untouched. Completely readable. I don’t talk much about responding that day, but felt compelled to share my story too. I have PTSD from that call. But you’re right. God is with us on those bad calls, those bad days. You just have to look up,” she noted in the second most popular comment on the post.