Freedom Fellowship Church leaders talk starting over after destructive fire

A Tyler church that was remodeled in 2020 now has to start over.
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2022 at 5:44 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A Tyler church that was remodeled in 2020 now has to start over.

Freedom Fellowship Church caught fire Monday morning. The fire was ruled unintentional and believed by investigators to have started where several appliances were plugged into a single power strip, according to the Tyler Fire Department.

Thursday afternoon the pastor showed KLTV the damage sustained and where they go from here. Pastor Scott Solis said he first learned of the fire after receiving a call from a friend.

“A friend of mine from where I work at Chapel Hill High School called me and said hey I’m praying for you and I thought to myself, ‘I don’t know why you’re praying for me, there’s nothing wrong.’ So he says, ‘Yeah your building’s on fire man.’”

Solis said since the fire he has received encouragement for him and his church family, but there is a lot of work to be done.

“We’re trying to look at the brighter side of things but its still daunting when you look at all the damage its very very overwhelming,” he said.

The location most impacted in the church is a cafe area.

“It’s believed that that’s where the fire started, its not determined how it started or what started it but that’s where the fire started so the main part of the damage is basically that cafe and the hallway that is adjacent to it,” Solis said.

Aside from the cafe, there is extensive smoke damage throughout the building including to the sanctuary.

“There’s not a part of this building that hasn’t been touched by smoke damage which is very its very hard because we got to figure out what we’re going to do, how we’re going to move forward as far as meeting, where we’re going to meet,” he said.

Solis hopes they can meet in a makeshift sanctuary in their fellowship hall, but if not, “We may have to find an off-site place to meet until we can get that area cleaned because it is affected by smoke as well.”

Solis asks for continued prayers from the community as they face this challenge.