Fire damages North Park UMC in St. Louis


Rev. Ronald Graham was woken up about midnight April 1 with bad news that was no joke.

“Our neighbor was telling us that it looked like our church is on fire,” Graham said.

They couldn’t see flames, but saw embers in the air, and smoke coming from the building. Graham and the neighbor rushed over there and opened the back door.

“The church was filled with black smoke, from the ceiling to about a foot off of the floor,” Graham said.

Graham went around to open the front door so when the firefighters arrived they would have access from both sides, but when he got there he found the front door was ajar.

“It appeared that someone had broken in there,” he said.

The firefighters responded quickly and the blaze was soon extinguished, but the altar of the church was burned, along with some pews and light fixtures. Stained glass windows were damaged, and the entire sanctuary received smoke and water damage. A cross and two candle holders were missing from the church.

“If the neighbor hadn’t seen it, there would have been a lot more damage,” Graham said.

As of press time, the church was planning on having its Easter services in the chapel, which wasn’t damaged.


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