2006 Fire Still Impacting Downtown Church
(Memphis) It’s been six years since a fire destroyed the oldest church in Memphis.
A copper cross is all that’s left of the First United Methodist Church’s original sanctuary.
The original wooden church was built in the 1800s.
It burned to the ground in a 2006 fire that devastated the congregation.
The fire started with a lightning strike, wind carried the embers causing the fire to spread to Court Square.
“It would be I think significant for Memphis to have that back again. I know the architectural drawings is to replicate a historic Memphis church again,” said Pastor Andy Rambo.
Rambo is the pastor at First United.
He says about a hundred people go to the church, down from before the fire.
The church used insurance money to rebuild, but it was only enough to finish half the job.
The congregation meets there every Sunday at eleven.
“Right now our focus is to build our congregation and base of people, and focusing most of our effort on building a congregation that can reach downtown” said Rambo.
First United uses the unfinished sections as an outdoor sanctuary for special services.
Pastor Rambo says plans to rebuild are on the back burner while the church focuses on doubling membership.
“When we feel we have that good foundation then we will move forward with the rest of the church,” said Rambo.