It was a total loss, but now St. Luke AME Church has something to look forward to. Fire investigators now say that wires around the altar may have started the blaze which gutted the sanctuary earlier this week. Despite all this, the members are thankful for something.
Almost everything was destroyed in the building, almost being the key word. In a blackened building completely filled with charred woodwork, only one thing stood out as having been spared.
"The cross has not even been tarnished with any smoke or fire damage to it," said Pastor Kenneth Wilson.
The roof of the church was almost completely wiped out, and the section holding the cross up even caved in toward the fire. But somehow, the six-year old cross survived.
"It's a clear sign to us that God wants us to move forward, and the power of God still lies in the church and the hearts of the people," said Pastor Wilson.
Thursday afternoon, workers came to St. Luke AME Church with only one task: pull down the cross so it can be kept in storage for later. "It was easy. Wasn't nothing to it," said Sam Wiggins. "The fire done did all the rest of it."
The church has a meeting with the City of Savannah next week, where they'll try to figure out what to do next. But the congregation has said from the beginning, they'll definitely be back.
"It's been a beacon for this community," said Pastor Wilson. "The burning, it's going to be missed, but it's a sign God wants us to move on, do better things."
If you want to help, they're taking donations at Carver State Bank and the Bank of America. Make sure you make checks out to the St. Luke AME Building Fund.