NB Pastor: Church stands strong after fire

NB Pastor: Church stands strong after fire
NORTH BEND, Ore.-- A North Bend church pastor says his church stands strong despite losing their building in a fire Tuesday.

Pastor Jerry Steele of the First United Methodist Church of North Bend says though it is disheartening and disappointing to see his church go up in flames from end to end, his church will rebuild.

"We trust in God to help us rebuild a stronger newer congregation," Steele said. "Buildings are buildings; the church is the people."

Steele said he drove from his home in Coquille to witness the fire. He along with many of the church's estimated 115 members came out to view their place of worship goes up in flames.

No one was injured in the fire. A church secretary who spoke to KCBY off camera says she heard a noise, smelled smoke and got out. She was the only one inside the church Tuesday morning.

A couple who had recently moved back to the Bay Area told KCBY that they arrived at the church to check in for an appointment with the pastor, left and arrived 20 minutes later to find the church in flames.

"It's pretty shocking actually," Brianna Zimmerman said along side her boyfriend Matt Oliver. "It's pretty... I don't know. Shocking to see that its happening. I know that when we were in there everything seemed fine, and the lady, the secretary, seemed friendly and nothing out of the norm. It happened very quickly."

Zimmerman and Oliver were visting the church because they were very interested in joining the congregation as new members.

This is not the first time fire has hit the First United Methodist Church of North Bend, the church moved to its current location after their original location burned down decades ago.

The First United Methodist Church of Coos Bay, North Bend's sister church, says it will do everything it can to help out the church.

The State Fire Marshall says the cause is still under investigation.