COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - Leaders of a small Christian school in Coweta County are leaning on their faith after a fire forced them to close one of the school’s main buildings.
Since the fire late last month, Central Christian School officials said they’ve had to get creative while crews work to repair the building that’s almost 40 years old.
RealChurch Coweta Pastor Barry Williams told FOX 5 the congregation is also getting creative in finding the money to pay for building upgrades that insurance won’t cover.
"We know that God’s going to come through, he’s done it before. This spring, we had a flood in the front part of the building," Williams recalled.
After that flood in the spring and a fire in the fall, he said it’s been a challenging year for his ministry and the church’s K-12 school which is still in-session despite part of the campus being closed due to smoke damage.
Central Christian School
"Our middle school and high school building—building two— is completely shut down right now," Williams explained. "I told our church members if an earthquake or locusts come out, we’re gonna start looking for Jesus."
Coweta County fire officials said just before 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, a member of the church’s cleaning staff discovered smoke and flames coming up the building’s back side and called 911 before filming it.
Williams told FOX 5 they’d been seasoning a new grill in preparation for a big event that Sunday just hours prior.
"Obviously, it was a devastating loss for us," he said.
They’re now dealing with that devastating loss by using other parts of the church as temporary classrooms. Williams said they’re grateful no one was hurt, and that insurance will take care of most of the damage. But the costs for improvements to the building’s fire alarm, electrical and HVAC systems will likely fall back on them.
"It’s gonna look probably around the $100,000 mark, or more. We just want the safest environment for our children," he told FOX 5.
The official cause of the fire is still under investigation. The church has started an online fundraiser in hopes community members will find it in their hearts to donate.