(Du Quoin, IL)--Just one day after a fire destroys the First United Pentecostal Church in Du Quoin its pastors and congregation are already planning on how they'll rebuild their sanctuary.
Senior Pastor C. L. McKinnies says he helped build the first one and he plans on overseeing the second one being built. "I was here from the beginning of the foundation and there's a lot of me in that building," says McKinnies. Pastor McKinnies is hopeful that out of the charred beams, they'll have a much stronger church. "I don't believe this happened to get a new building, I believe there's a higher purpose. I feel that this may open the door for us to talk to many more people in the community," said McKinnies. "It may even bring more people to our revivals, at least that's my hope."
But lost in the fire is something Pastor McKinnies cherished very much, his beloved office. "I'm an old fashioned type of guy. I liked coming to my office early in the morning when no ones around. It gave me time to pray and study and get ready for my day. I have to admit this is the toughest part for me," as McKinnies lowered his head and began to sob. Gathering himself after a few moments Pastor McKinnies says he and his congregation will rebuild their church. "Our pavilion here will handle our worship services on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday night bible studies. We feel in a couple of weeks we'll be shouting again," McKinnies said with a smile and tear in his eye.
Investigators have been able to determine that the fire started in a heating unit located in an enclosed closet near the middle of the church. But they still don't know how the fire ignited.