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Community invites Camden church members to service after church fire

CAMDEN, IL (WGEM) — Worshipers from two Illinois towns are coming together after a fire devastated the Camden community Thursday and left them without a church.

Now, the Brooklyn United Methodist Church opened its doors to those in need.

The church pews at the Brooklyn United Methodist Church are packed, as churchgoers from Camden, Illinois, join for Sunday morning services.

“It’s very nice,” Camden church member Randall Prather said. “We would have done the same for them.”

The invitation comes after the Camden United Methodist Church caught fire Thursday evening, making the building inaccessible right now.

“We were invited over here I think until we decide what we’re going to do,” Prather said.

Pastor Dan Wise said it’s all about coming together in a time of need.

“Brooklyn has been so gracious to open their church up to the Camden folks and we’re all joined together here for a church service, the first one after the fire,” Wise said.

Wise said since he’s the pastor at both churches, he plans to continue holding services for everyone at the Brooklyn church.

“Even though they’re different churches, we’re in this together,” Wise said. “So it’s just amazing.”

Brooklyn church member Sally Jo Blackburn said when a community down the street is going through a tough time, it’s her job to step up and help in any way possible.

“We work together well because we’re in a charge and they’re in our charge, so we work together a lot anyway,” Blackburn said. “We know all the people, we enjoy them and it’s just wonderful to have them here today.”

It’s something Camden members said they’re grateful for, as they remember cherished times spent in their own church.

“Just been going there so many years, it’s different you know, when it’s not there anymore,” Prather said. “I don’t know what they decided to do with it yet.”

Wise said Kingdom Kids, which is held on Wednesday nights, will be moved to the Camden Township Building.
He said he will continue to hold services at the Brooklyn Church.

He also said the insurance adjusters are supposed to come to the Camden United Methodist Church on Monday

Church members in Camden, Illinois, come together during church fire
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Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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