A Modesto church was destroyed by a fire, members optimistic after donations at Sunday service

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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — For members of the Westside Neighborhood Church in Modesto, Sunday service looked a bit different.

Sunday’s service was held inside a conference room at the Clarion Inn – less than 48 hours after a fire destroyed their church on California Avenue.

Reverend Carlton Wright says he informed members of his church that there would definitely be a Sunday service despite not having a location yet.

“I said, ‘oh, yes, we will not miss a beat because God is going to provide a way for us and this is what happened’,” Wright said.

Wright has been the pastor at the church for almost a half-century, and he says he rushed over when he got an alert on his phone about the fire and was surprised at what he saw.

“The flames were coming out of the window and going above the building,” Wright said.

It took crews from Modesto and Ceres Fire Department to be able to put out the fire Friday.

The fire destroyed the inside of the church where members have worshipped for more than 30 years.

According to Wright, the fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Wright tells FOX40, despite the devastation, his congregation is optimistic about the future after people walked in donation checks during their service.

One check was for $100 and another was for $1,000, says Wright.

“We know God is blessing us and He’s going to bless the people who bless us,” Wright said.

The church is still planning to celebrate its 48th year anniversary next Sunday at their new temporary location at Big Valley Grace Community Church, according to Wright.

“I’m thankful the pastor in the church, he has said that he will offer that facility as long as we need it while we’re in transition of getting our own place back in full operation or our choice of another,” Wright said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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