Fire destroys Garden City church; Congregation devastated

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“It’s really sad because this is our family,” Benjamin DeJesus, one of the church members, said.

Jesus is our Pastor; The name of the church translated in English. It’s a Spanish speaking only church that was torched Friday afternoon.

No one was inside at the time, but they were nearby.

The pastor said, in a translation, he went to find concrete, came back and saw flames roaring from the back of the church.

“He turned off the power of the church and he came outside and said I don’t have a chance to do anything,” Roberto Uribe, the church pastor, said.

But fire crews did what they could.

“We saved the main part of the structure,” Corbin Medeiros, the Garden City Assistant Fire Chief, said. “That appears to be an out structure that was just added later.”

A piece that church members put months of sweat into.

“We built all that. We built it with our hands. We don’t build it for us we build it to celebrate Jesus,” DeJesus said. “99% of my time I spend in this church. It’s really painful for me because when I came here there was nothin there. They started working before this be a church.”

That loss has hit the members in more ways than one.

“It’s really hard for us because this is my family,” DeJesus said. “I’m from Puerto Rico. We can’t go back to Puerto Rico and celebrate with our family and they can’t come back to this country.”

Members gathered around the building, hugging one another and trying to figure out what to do next because there is nowhere else for them to go from here.

“Everybody in this church is alone in this country,” DeJesus said.

Especially around the holidays.

“We miss our family, they miss their family and the emotion right now is big for us because like I say this is our family here.”

If you would like to help you can contact DeJesus by emailing him at bendej@comcast.net.

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