Spalding County Fire Marshall Eddie James said he has not been able to get inside to determine a cause because the building continues to weaken. “Once the roof burned off, everything fell into the basement,” James said.
“There’s no way to do it, and to do it safely,” he said. “With all the debris, basically two stories, in the basement with the water and still burning, the cause will be left undetermined.”
James said “almost every day and sometimse twice a day since the fire we’ve had to send a truck back out as the fire has rekindled.”
He spoke with the witness who called in the fire.
“He saw the fire up high and coming out of the eaves,” James said. “It was most likely lightning, but I can’t say for sure, so it will be left undetermined.”
While the church building is destroyed, New Salem Baptist Church Pastor Mike Barnes said Friday, “the church is up and rolling, having church and being a church.”
Services will be held this Sunday in the Family Life Center across from the church, with corporate Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., and worship services at 11 a.m., and 6 p.m.
“It will be a little bit differentto give members time to share and talk and give testimonials,” Barnes said,
Barnes is meeting with the church leadership to work out the vision for the future. He said the schedule may change down the road, “as we work out space limitations.”
Barnes said there has been “such an outpouring of support from the community. We’ve set up a building fund through United Bank for donations. Checks can be made out to the New Salem Building Fund.”