Church members speak out after fire guts church -

Church members speak out after fire guts church

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(Credit: KMOV). (Credit: KMOV).

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. ( - More than 120 years of memories went up in flames Saturday evening.  

Philana Smoot considered Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church a second home.

“Oh I cry because I don't know whether to smile or drop on my knees and pray, or cry because my church is gone,” said Smoot.

Her grandfather, Pastor Dewitt Rhodes, is the pastor of the church.  He said he is blown away by the smoldering shell that was left behind on Ridge Ave at the intersection of 25th Street.  He has been a pastor there for almost 40 years.

“It's a lot of works that I have, that I was doing. It's almost wasted,” said Pastor Rhodes.

As the community continues to mourn the loss of this church, investigators said they're still trying to find a cause of the fire.  

Click here to view the gofundme page created for the church.

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