Immokalee fire destroyed Lilly Bass church but not will to rebuild

Robert Hundley

The autumn of 2022 has been a take a look at by wind and h2o for a lot of hurricane-battered Southwest Florida.

For members of the Lilly Bass Church of God in Unity, even so, it is a exam by hearth.

A predawn blaze Sept. 16 burned out their concrete sugar cube of a church nestled in close proximity to downtown Immokalee, destroying approximately all the things inside. The pews, the hymnals, the sound system that amplified its joyous shouts of praise and its vocals, the musical instruments — all were being charred further than use.  

Electrical, stated the workplace of Florida State Hearth Marshal. It investigated the aftermath of a  3-hour battle by two fireplace departments to snuff flames that licked up to the roof, opening its sanctuary to the morning sky.

Devastating, said users of its congregation, a lot of of them prolonged-time customers who never keep in mind one more church home.

“When you might be coming here so long, to see it burned down, it can be just so sad,” said Kayla Corridor, 31, who has been in the church for 13 a long time.

Service is held under a large tent near Lilly Bass Church of God in Unity in Immokalee, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. The congregation of Lilly Bass, anywhere from 25-50 people, now worships near the ashes of what once held their pentecostal church that burned down on Sept. 16, 2022.

As probable, expert services are less than a canopy, a handful of feet away from the scorched sanctuary. Victory in Christ Tabernacle and other church buildings have offered them early worship occasions at their properties, a single of lots of kindnesses in a church community that is close-knit in Immokalee.

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