Fire destroys church in Monroe County

Bridgepoint Church in Temperance fully engulfed in flames

TEMPERANCE, Mich. – Fire crews worked Saturday to extinguish a massive fire that broke out at a church in Monroe County.

The Bridgepoint Church in Temperance was fully engulfed in flames Saturday afternoon. The building is expected to be a total loss.

"Something you don't want to have to see. I've been a member for 12 years," David Edwards said. "It's hard to watch."

People snapped images of the church engulfed in flames. The fire was intense and it spread quickly.

"Heartbreaking. It's very heartbreaking," Ben Estep said. "The fact nobody else was in the building or injured or killed. We're all still together."

Estep and his uncle stopped by the church moments earlier.

"Everything was perfectly fine. We had no idea what was going on," Estep said.

Minutes after locking up the church, thick smoke could be seen miles away. The fire was so intense, crews from 12 fire agencies responded.

While they fought to get a handle of the fire, including cutting the gas line, church members watched in disbelief.

"I believe that is not the church, that's the building. The people standing here, we are the church," Estep said.

Bridgepoint Church has stood in the location for 50 years, but in a matter of hours the sanctuary, its offices and day care facility were all destroyed.

Church leaders met to discuss the future, which includes picking up from the ashes

"There's no question in my mind that we will, and I think everyone in this room tonight was very hopeful," Edwards said.

While the building is gone, church leaders told Local 4 News they have a simple prayer for the faithful congregation.

"I'm going to pray people don't get discouraged because that's often easy to happen to," Edwards said.

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