A 150-year-old church in Wakefield, Mass. erupted into flames Tuesday during a lightning storm. While most of the church was destroyed, one thing survived the inferno – a large painting of Jesus.
Parishioners were meeting at The First Baptist Church of Wakefield Tuesday when a fire was reported at about 7 p.m.
Firefighters and community members battled the blaze for three hours. Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan says the church, which has a 180-foot-spire, is completely destroyed.
However, people were shocked when they saw a first responder emerge from the burned-out church with a perfectly preserved painting of Jesus.
According to the Boston Globe, neither fire, smoke, nor water destroyed the picture.
"What a beautiful reminder that the Lord we serve is alive and active," the church wrote in a Facebook post.
Some church members see it as a miraculous sign from God.
"The building had been ravaged by the fire, so it's amazing that anything on the inside made it out intact. At a time when our church community was experiencing a lot of grief, I think God was sending us a reminder that we should keep our eyes on Jesus, who is still alive and active. The building may be gone, but our church is still here, and the God we serve is definitely still here," Maria Kakolowski a church member told CBN News.
The Globe reports that the painting will be given to a former pastor.
Kakolowski said the church is taking the recovery process "one step at a time."
The First Baptist Church has set up a GoFundMe page to help the aftermath and recovery.
The church also posted a statement on its website expressing complete faith in God.
"We know that we serve a God who specializes in restoring brokenness and who can bring beauty even from ashes," the statement reads. "So we move into the future with trust, hope, and gratitude."