A Dallas congregation is trying to find a new place to gather after fire tore through their church on Tuesday.
The Iglesia De Dios Eben-Ezer on South Tyler Street in Oak Cliff started burning just before 1 a.m. The church is still standing, but the inside is damaged by the flames and smoke. Fire crews believe the fire started in the children’s room at the front of the building.
The pastor tells NBC 5 that the small church will find strength through this struggle.
“I know we’re going to get another purpose,” says Pastor Jose Reyes. “I don’t like the situation, but the Lord says, 'Move it! You need another place.'”
Pastor Reyes had just left the church around 9 p.m. Monday after prayer services, only to be called back to the church four hours later. Fire crews rushed to put out the flames in the building where he’s been preaching for 17 years. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof, the walls, and rip down insulation to stop the fire.
“The real damage is in here. This is the children’s room. The fire started in that room. The little children’s room,” says Pastor Reyes.
A burned pile from the children’s room now sits on the church’s front porch. A charred children’s chair, a changing table, and a crib are amongst the debris.
“When you see that, you see all your memories flash before you,” says the pastor’s daughter, Melissa Reyes. She feared the fire would destroy what her father has spent nearly two decades building.
The church has about 60 members and rents the space. It does not have renter’s insurance.
“It hurts, right? Like I said, then you have that comfort, because you trust in God that something good is coming, something better,” says Melissa Reyes.
“I hope everything is going to be okay,” says Pastor Reyes, “It’s not my business. It’s His business. The Lord’s business.”
Pastor Reyes says Wednesday night’s 7 p.m. services will go on somehow. He hopes another church may have available space, at the very least, they’ll hold services in the parking lot or even in his home.
To assist the church in its recovery efforts, you can reach Pastor Reyes at (214) 288-0801.