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Chetopa Church Destroyed by Fire: Pastor & Wife Rescued - KOAM TV 7

Chetopa Church Destroyed by Fire: Pastor & Wife Rescued

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CHETOPA, KANSAS -

The Kansas state fire marshal's office is investigating a fire in Chetopa that destroyed a small church over the weekend.
     It's a fifty thousand dollar loss. But two lives were saved.

 

On Tuesday George Berry stood in front of melted steel and ash from the fire that destroyed the Jesus Name, House of Prayer church in Chetopa.  A fire he discovered around one in the morning on  Friday.

Berry explained, "The fire was in the very front. By the time, I got out and went to the door, it was halfway through the church"

He banged multiple times on the door to the apartment at the back to rouse the pastor and his wife.  And not long after they all had fled, Berry said, "Electricity had shut off, it was dark, and  filling up with smoke."

Despite losing everything they own, the Wethey's are grateful.

 Diane Wethey, the pastor
s wife said she felt, "Lucky! Lucky that we know God and He was watching over us all night and got us out of the fire.  Feel very privileged we get to serve a little bit more longer."

And they are thankful for George Berry.
Jim Wethey, the pastor said,  "I believe that he was listening to God. If he hadn
t  been we probably wouldnt be having this conversation."
Berry agrees. He said he usually doesn't work nights and was detoured by a trip to get milk. Berry added, "Everything that happened that day put me at that exact  time to witness that fire and get those people out of there. And that has to be God."

The church was very old. The pastor says it dates back to 1860 when a  Baptist church sold it to Christians.  He couldn
t get insurance because of its age and now they're getting support from others to rebuild. 

 Wethey said, "We didnt realize we were so well loved."

Neighboring churches took up collections some giving a thousand dollars others hundreds. Wethey said, "They always tell me this is for you and your wife, whatever you need, well we need a church. Thats hard."

Fire melted trash cans and scorched the tree but the church sign is  unscathed. Wethey says thats God too.

The church is what counts. That’s our goal in life, to be able to have a place of worship to help people with their problems of this life.    

About thirty thousand dollars worth of music and recording equipment was lost in the fire. A "go fund me" account has been established.
     Here is a link. https://www.gofundme.com/3ippvm8

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