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Small AG Church Suffers Heavy Loss

The sanctuary and offices of Chapel of Praise Assembly of God in Falmouth, Kentucky, were destroyed by fire on Dec. 27.

Less than 48 hours after Christmas Day services, the main sanctuary and offices of Chapel of Praise Assembly of God in Falmouth, Kentucky, burned to the ground in what fire officials have deemed an electrical fire, but have been unable to determine the exact cause.

According to Pastor Kevin Clos, the fire was called in at 3 a.m. Dec. 27 and he was notified four minutes later. As many as 20 firefighters would work the next four hours to douse the blaze. Clos had been the last person at the church, having turned off the furnace at the church on Monday, Dec. 26, due to the surprisingly warm temperatures the region was experiencing.

Although the small church of 20 to 25 members has been offered a place to meet on Sundays, Clos says that he’s decided to wait to resume service until February.

“We also have a fellowship hall that is located just five feet from the main building,” Clos says. “It has some water and smoke damage, but it doesn’t have any electricity or gas — I’m working on getting those things taken care of so we can resume services on the first of February.”

Clos says the church was insured and they do plan on rebuilding, but for now, he’s just trying to keep his head above water.

As a small-church minister, Clos is not just the pastor, but, among other things, the bookkeeper and accountant. With the loss of the church offices, his responsibilities are now even more challenging. “I have so many people I’m needing to meet with, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m coming or going,” Clos says in honesty.

On top of losing the church to fire and having to handle the insurance issues — not to mention the end-of-the-year tax paperwork — Clos is also the primary caretaker of his 83-year-old mother who recently suffered two strokes. “I’m feeling the stress,” Clos admits.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.