Fire heavily damages Rock Hill church

Credit: Rock Hill Fire Department
Credit: Rock Hill Fire Department
Kristi O'Connor | WBTV
Kristi O'Connor | WBTV

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - A portion of a road in Rock Hill will be closed all day on Thursday after crews battled a fire at a church.

According to city officials, West Main Street between Constitution Boulevard and Lancaster Street was shut down after a fire erupted at the Gospel Light Baptist Church.

The road was reopened just before 5:30 p.m.

Rock High Fire Department Public Information Officer Mark Simmons says the call came in at 6:18 a.m. Crews arrived within 15 minutes and put out the blaze within 45 minutes.

The fire caused heavy damage to the sanctuary. No one was hurt in the fire.

Simmons says when crews arrived there were heavy flames coming from the back of the church. The blaze completely destroyed the roof of the church. The Sunday School building that's attached to the main church building did not have flame damage but could have some smoke damage.

Rock Hill Fire Chief Mark Blackmon, who is a member of the Gospel Light Baptist Church congregation, called Pastor Bruce Wyatt about the blaze.

"My heart was broken at first, and still is of course," Rev. Wyatt said. "It's an emotional thing, but it's sinking in. God's got a reason, he knows all things: past, present and future. We're just going to trust him for the days ahead."

Pastor Wyatt has called for a prayer meeting Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in the social hall, which is located behind the main church building. He says they may continue church services in the social hall, but it has yet to be officially decided.

Gospel Light Baptist Church moved to the building on West Main Street in 2007. Wyatt says they purchased the building from Trinity Nazarene. He believes it has been there since the early 1950s.

"We can trust God. No matter what the situation. We can trust him. He's our savior," Pastor Wyatt said.

Viewer S. Yount sent video of a plume of smoke coming from the area. He says he noticed the smoke when he was dropping his wife off at work.

It is unclear what caused the blaze.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms are handling the investigation.

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