Investigators are looking for what sparked a fire that caused major damage to a landmark church in Winder late Thursday night. The intense flames tore through The Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit on West Candler Street around 11 p.m.
"By the time we got here, there was no roof, no windows, no doors in the sanctuary part and it was not long before the whole thing was gone," said Pastor Phillip Adair.
Adair said the building first opened as a Methodist church in 1904. Church members say the church had undergone two years of restoration in the past decade, and had seating in it from the Fox Theater dating from the 1920s.
"We had just put so much into it, and we loved the church so much. It was where we was always going to go to church," said church member Edgar Fussell.
Lightning was reported in the area after storms passed through late in the evening.
"We're still investigating. We did have heavy lightning storms in the area just prior to the fire so we're going to look into that and other options," said Chief Matt Whiting of the Winder Fire Department.
No one was hurt, but the church may be a total loss. Adair said he did not have a plan as to what's next for the 70-member church. He said that had received offers of help from other churches.
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