Fire crews remained at the scene on the morning of July 26 after a fire completely destroyed a church in Beaumont.

According to the Beaumont Fire Department (BFD), the fire was reported around 10 p.m. on July 25 at the Central City Baptist Church, located at the corner of Franklin Street and Avenue E. Captain BFD Terence Simon reported that firefighters sprayed water from the ground and from the ladder to contain the fire from reaching nearby homes.

Fletcher Elementary School is located across from the church.

All that remained were mostly the brick walls of the church.

Eric House, moderator of the Golden Triangle Baptist Network (GTBN), said they recently brought in missionaries to help revive the church.

Church members were working at the church on Monday preparing for a reopening after it was closed for at least a year due to COVID-19.

“It’s a total loss, but we’re going to get it going again,” House said.

Lizz Jelsma, communications assistant for GTBN, said that for the past year GTBN has been working on a church plant now called Iglesia Bautista Alianza en Marcha – a Hispanic church plant.

“The previous congregation stopped meeting last year, but we have been working with the Gutierrez family on new church planting there for six months,” she added.

Jelsma said the congregation, led by Pastor Jose Gutierrez, had met in the building for the past three Sundays and had previously held a vacation Bible school event there for the community.

Jelma said the current plan is to pray at a member’s house a few blocks away until another place in the community is found for temporary use and possibly rebuilt there.

She said the church has been there for at least 60 years or more.

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