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Faith keeping north Denver church leadership positive after fire

Odom Memorial Church of God in Christ
Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 19:55:29-04

DENVER -- For the first time since a fire ravaged the Odom Memorial Church of God in Christ in north Denver Thursday, its church leadership got an up-close look at the aftermath Sunday.

Investigators determined the blaze was caused by an electrical fire, according to Assistant Pastor A.J. McDonald. It damaged parts of the roof, attic, and structure.

"Until it touches you and touches your front door, then you kind of get a better understanding of what's truly going on emotionally," Pastor McDonald said.

Seeing the flames and smoke on TV surrounding the decades-old building was heart-wrenching for the McDonald family, but their faith is keeping them positive.

"Without a doubt. Without a doubt," Bishop W.H. McDonald said.

No one was inside at the time of the fire. But had this happened days prior, this could've been a different story.

"God was gracious because being here Sunday, Easter Sunday, it could have happened. Yeah, it could have been very devastating," Bishop McDonald said.

Easter Sunday was the first time the church had met in person during the pandemic. This Sunday morning, they met again on Zoom -- but for a different reason.

The McDonald family will find out this week just how badly damaged the church is and how much it'll cost to repair it. But there is a silver lining.

"There's always a plan in what God does. We've been talking for years we need to redevelop that side and expand that, so now we were forced to do it," Pastor McDonald said.

Temporarily, the church will meet Sunday mornings at its state temple in Aurora at 750 Chambers Rd. It's where the family hopes to continue spreading their message of hope.

"Everything is in place. God has given us directions," Bishop McDonald said. "We have a home. We're not on the streets, and, so, we're excited."

Since the fire, the church has received an outpouring of support from the faith community, including other churches. A GoFundMe page to help the church cover any costs the insurance won't had collected more than $5,000 as of Sunday afternoon.