Fort Wayne fire crews were called back to the Unity Worship Center at 4101 Holton Ave., Tuesday evening after fire broke out for a second time in two days.
Fire officials said the roof rafters caught fire around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday. The first crews on scene put it out in about 10 minutes.
Nobody was inside when the fire rekindled.
Fire crews were first called to the church just after 10:30 a.m. Monday on a report of a fire.
Billowing smoke served as a sign of the devastating fire in the south side neighborhood that morning.
“We was always known as the little church with a big heart,” founding member Loretta Masterson told WANE 15.
Members of the church gathered to support each other and looked on as firefighters worked around their building.
“The devil is alive,” Masterson added. “He’s trying to defeat us, but he’s not going to. God brought us to it and he’s gonna bring us through it.”
The congregation of 70 or 80 people formed a decade ago as a smaller group. They’ve been in the current building for about two years and have been growing. Their first meal to feed the hungry was set for next Saturday.
“We were just getting things the way we wanted them to,” Pastor Joey Simpson explained.
Simpson was inside the church Monday morning, but left before the fire started. He got the call to return around 10:30 a.m.
“I just thank God that I wasn’t there and thank God it wasn’t on Sunday, because on Sunday at this time we would have been in worship service and things could have been a lot worse,” Simpson said. “So, I thank God for that.”
Everybody was safe. No injuries were reported. Now the focus shifts to moving forward.
“God’s in control of this and that’s what it’s all about,” Masterson explained.
A fire investigator was at the scene Monday morning, but the cause of the fire was not immediately released.