Christ Temple Church caught fire on Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. The attic of the building billowed with smoke and flames, lasting for nearly three hours. From 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, traffic was redirected on Pleasure Avenue, the location of Christ Temple Church.
The Searcy Fire Department was onsite 30 minutes after the fire began and immediately began their work. They climbed onto the roof using hoses and an axe, creating more space for the smoke to exit the building.
The church’s pastor and other members were in the building cleaning the sanctuary for worship before the fire began. Around an hour after they left, a woman in her home nearby smelled smoke and called 911. No one was in the building at the time of the fire.
“I think it was an electrical problem that caused [the fire] because the church is over 100 years old,” Pastor Robert Nichols said. “I’m glad it wasn’t more extensive than it is.”
The building is 150 years old but is not listed under the White County Historical Society as a historical landmark.
“It’s been here forever, since we were little girls,” church member Tasha Abrams said. “We all grew up here for years.”
The congregation does not have plans for repairs at this time but has postponed their Easter celebration. Further instruction of repairs will follow the investigation and direction from the church’s bishop. If weather permits, Christ Temple will hold services this Sunday on their field behind the church building.
“We are a community,” church member Kim Johnson said. “No matter what, we will come together.”