Historic church in Portsmouth counting its blessings after huge fire 1 year ago

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 17:35:21-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Monumental Methodist Church is hosting a service of blessings to commemorate what was lost after a huge fire a year ago Thursday.

They will gather at the church Thursday at 7 p.m. to reflect on how far they've come.

Monumental Methodist Church

Pastor Celeste Heath told News 3, "There was grief, as there would be about what's happening with your church, but because this has been my home church I knew how resilient these people are."

Project manager John Epperson told News 3 repairs are going to cost roughly $6 million. So far, the church has spent $250,000.

The fire started in the steeple of the historic church. It took the entire Portsmouth Fire Department, as well as firefighters from nearby cities, to put it out.

Water damage destroyed the inside of the sanctuary.

"There were 18 inches of water in the sanctuary that soaked everything; walls, ceiling, furniture, books, pew cushions," Heath said.

Church services have been moved to the fellowship hall in the educational building adjacent to the church.

Construction is anticipated to be completed by November 2019.

Previous coverage:

Crews battling Historic Portsmouth church fire