Congregation mourns loss of Perry County church - abc27 WHTM

Congregation mourns loss of Perry County church

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A minister visiting from a nearby church put it well: "It's not about the 124-year-old building, but the things that were built inside."

Ruby and Maurice Shuemaker are a good example of that.

"Back then, we had a wood stove in the center of the aisle," said Ruby.

The couple married inside the Logania Church of God in Wheatfield Township in 1958.

"The kitchen is really a wreck," Maurice said, eyeing up the back end of the charred structure.

It was already too late by the time crews arrived to Loshes Run Road. The call was put in around 2:30 a.m. Shortly after, members turned up and were devastated.

"We are a small congregation, 20 to 25 people, but we are all family," said Sue Seltzer, whose family arrived Wednesday afternoon to mourn together.

Nearby church leaders also stopped by and offered both their facilities and their strength.

"This is not the end of it. You could almost say it's the beginning of a new life," said Dr. Gary Shew, a minister at the Pine Grove Church of God in Newport.

Only the church's bell and cross made it out of the fire. Church members hope to rebuild so that they can hear that bill ring once again.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. Preliminary reports indicate it may have started in the kitchen.

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