Donelson Church Rebuilding After Fire - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Donelson Church Rebuilding After Fire

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Members of a mid-state church said they are ready to rebuild after flames destroyed a major part of the building this weekend.

Church leaders said members of the congregation tried to extinguish the blaze near the kitchen stove where investigators believe the fire started.

One day after the fire ripped through St. Mary's Coptic Church in Donelson, some of the youngest members are helping with efforts to rebuild.

"After we heard the fire was going on in our church, and then people told us to just come help and we can clean faster and we can come back together," said Fady Milad, a church member.

"We used to do a lot of things in these rooms, and on Sundays we'd come and we had to go in these rooms and we had to learn Bible study."

While the church will have a place to worship, their classrooms are destroyed.

"Despite all the damage that happened, no one was injured and despite the size of the fire itself - even the other building was damaged and the nearby houses were not damaged," said George Hanna, a board member of the church.

"We need to reopen the church here and get the Sunday Schools back again, and we don't want to lose them," said Hanna.

Among the rubble, firefighters found a Bible unscathed and opened to this message.

"It says for God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son and whoever believes in Him shall not perish," said Father Youhanna Ghebranious of St. Mary's. "That was the page it was on."

"It's not going to be the end of the story, it's going to be the beginning," said Hanna.

Investigators said they are having a harder time determining the exact cause of the fire because the roof caved in.

Fortunately, the church had insurance, but they said it could be some time before they can get a new educational building. 

Church members said they've received donations already, but could use some additional support.

Donations can be made to:

St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Nashville
P.O. Box 17213 Nashville, TN 37217
Bank of America Account#: 444003346767

Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
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