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Unity Spiritual Center leader hopeful after fire

Posted at 1:02 PM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-09 13:02:05-04

LANSING, Mich. — Rev. Sharon Ketchum, a minister at Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing took a deep breath while talking to FOX 47 after the fire. She says that’s the first step.

“Everybody, they take that initial hit and then you take a deep breath and go, in the end it’s all good, and if it’s not good it’s not the end,” said Ketchum.

Ketchum says when she got a call from firefighters that the church she was studying in less than 12 hours before was on fire, she was shocked.

“You just can’t believe it. That’s my church. It can’t be on fire. Why would that happen,” said Ketchum.

Those are questions she still doesn’t know the answers to. But even as church members arrived later on Sunday and saw what happened, there were smiles and even a prayer.

“It’s going to be a process to rebuild and that’s okay and there’s a gift in it. I mean that’s our theology, that there’s goodness in everything and this is just something we get to grow through.”

Ketchum says that’s what Unity Spiritual Center is all about.

“It’s never about the building. The church is not about the building, the church is the community. The people that have been calling and coming and even congregants that have moved away, calling us and praying, asking what can we do to help,” said Ketchum.

Firefighters say no one was inside when the church caught fire and no one was hurt.

There’s smoke damage throughout but most of the fire was contained to the office area.

Still, services won’t be held in the building for quite some time.

“It’s more like, well this is interesting, I wonder what do we do next,” said Ketchum. “I don’t know. I’m sitting here without answers and that’s not a bad place to be. It is not what you choose to have happened, but it’s not terrible. It’s not the Bahamas.”

The church tells FOX 47 they don’t know what’s next and that they still have to talk to their insurance company.

In the meantime, they’ve been in talks with local churches, all offering spaces for them to meet.

Lansing Fire is still investigating the cause of the fire which broke out early Sunday morning.

Firefighters were battling the blaze at Unity Spiritual Center on South Holmes Street just after 6 a.m.

Officials say they still don't know the cause of the fire but Ketchum said, “You suspect electrical in older buildings. That’s what you suspect. It’s just a natural thing. The building is 95 years old.” She added that the office is "gone."

No one was inside at the time of the fire and the church is still closed to the public.

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