What’s next for Cape Girardeau church after devastating fire

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints caught fire on Sunday night, April 18.

The building suffered extensive damage on the inside and several sections of the roof were gone.

A homeless man is facing a hate crime charge, as well as arson in connection to the fire.

Now, it’s up to the congregation and church leadership to decide what to do next.

One church leader said this crime won’t keep them from worshipping together.

Kevin Dickson is the stake president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“It’s a building and we will rebuild,” he said. “The church is the people.”

Dickson is currently looking for a place for his people to hold services.

“We’ll look to see if perhaps there’s another church that would let us meet there or perhaps there’s another facility that we can rent in the short term until we’re able to rebuild,” he said.

In the meantime, offers of help and support are pouring in from the community.

Neighbors like Diana Palmer want to step up and help.

“I am a person that believes in volunteer work,” she said. “I volunteer for other organizations and I think that’s what makes the community strong.”

Pat Brooks described the church as being a good neighbor.

“Anytime we needed anything, we knew they were there,” she said.

With that support, Dickson said they’re ready to move forward. He said that’s what’s important to them now, building up for the future.

Dickson said the church is fully insured, so coming up with the money to rebuild won’t be a problem.

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