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Parishioners react to central Toledo church fire

Pastor: 'The church is only a building. The real church is inside of us. We're still standing.'

TOLEDO, Ohio — It didn't take long for flames to swallow up the Now Faith Worship Center early Saturday morning in central Toledo.

RELATED: Large fire in central Toledo severely damages church

Fire officials said the roof caved in and side walls collapsed at the church on the 1100 block of Nebraska Avenue.

The congregation is small, about fifty, but has served the community for 42 years.

"It's devastating. Really beyond words," member Jerry Williams said.

On Saturday afternoon, a demolition crew moved in to level what was left of the church. 

Outreach programs are on hold. Sunday services will now be held at a building next door to the church.

"We got a lot of good people in our church; good people in other churches that are praying for us. (The) community is praying. I think we're going to be alright," Williams said.

Official statement regarding this morning's fire. Thank you for your prayers and continued support.

Some members of the congregation suspect arson. But, an investigator said the cause is undetermined.

"The church is only a building. The real church is inside of us. We're still standing. The building is not," Pastor Delbert Williamson said.

Everything in the church was destroyed except for two precious items: the steeple bells.

The plan is to build a new church on the site where the old one stood.

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