Overnight Fire Destroys Rural Cannon County Church - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Overnight Fire Destroys Rural Cannon County Church

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by Chris Cannon

MORRISON, Tenn. - A fast moving overnight fire destroyed Ivy Bluff United Methodist Church. The building was reduced to ashes, except for a few broken brick walls.

"It's just heartbreaking to see that happen," said Pastor Danny Freeman.

The pastor got the call about the fire around 2:30 a.m. Monday and rushed to the church that was built in 1948.

"But it was obvious there was no hope to save anything," Freeman said.

The flames moved from the sanctuary, to the activities building and then back the educational wing, and reduced it all to rubble.

"When you look at the sanctuary it looks like it was systematically taken out. But when you look over in it, it's waist deep in ashes," Freeman said.

Members of the church stopped by Monday to see the destruction for themselves.

"How could this happen? All our history is gone, our church home is gone," asked Joan Banks Shirley before a Monday night prayer service at the church.

Banks Shirley has been a member of Ivy Bluff since 1949.

"This was a landmark to this community. Ivy Bluff Church has always been here," she said.

The fire may have destroyed the only church building many of the 80 members of the congregation have ever know, but it did not damage their memories.

"It was an absolutely beautiful for an old country church. It's can't be replaced, not amount of money can put that back," Banks Shirley said.

Many spoke of the detailed wood work crafted by church members when the sanctuary was built in the late 1940's.

"The wooden architecture was gorgeous and beautiful. It was handmade, they made everything.

The pastor said the church was fully insured and Ivy Bluff United Methodist Church will rise from the ashes.

"We mourn the loss, but we look forward to the future," he said.

Ten area church leaders have offered the help Ivy Bluff work through this difficult time.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the flames that destroyed the church that has stood for six decades.

email: ccannon@newschannel5.com


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