A fire gutted a 150-year-old Massachusetts church but a painting depicting Jesus Christ survived the blaze untouched.
Severe thunderstorms were rolling through the Wakefield area late Tuesday when the First Baptist Church steeple was struck by lightning, sparking a seven-alarm blaze, WCVB5 News reported.
“We’re just devastated. It really hasn’t sunk in to all of us yet,” church moderator Melinda Parry told the news station.
Video shows the church engulfed by flames Tuesday evening, leaving nothing more than a burnt structure by Wednesday morning.
“It’s been important to us and our family for many years,” parishioner Chris Rankin said. “We come every Sunday.”
However, not all was gone. Cleanup crews were seen carry a large, untouched painting of Jesus from the gutted building.
“Our faith is one of hope and resurrection and we believe that we can rise from the ashes and joy comes in the morning,” Pastor Norm Bendroth said.
In a statement, the church thanked the community and firefighters for their efforts to save the building.
“A very big thank you to the many firefighters who did their jobs with excellence, and to the outpouring of support from the community,” the church said. “We know that we serve a God who specializes in restoring brokenness and who can bring beauty even from ashes.