Sedalia reflects on loss of historic church destroyed by fire

1 year 2 weeks 6 days ago March 03, 2016 Mar 3, 2016 Thursday, March 03 2016 Thursday, March 03, 2016 4:25:00 PM CST in News
By: Katie Pylipow, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Madeline Odle, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

SEDALIA - Members of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Sedalia said the church was more than just a building to them. A massive fire gutted the church overnight.

Jack H. Lewis, who grew up four blocks away, said he spent his entire childhood there, from boy scouts to youth group.

"You drive by all the time, it's just a building, and then, when you start seeing the pictures and seeing the fire, all of a sudden you get this flood of memories," Lewis said. "It like losing a best friend."

The church has been standing on the same corner since 1888.

People at the scene on Thursday said some families in Sedalia have gone to the First Methodist Church for generations. 

Terry Bartol  went to youth classes in the basement of the church as a young girl. She said the closeness of the community there was a big reason she decided to stay in Sedalia after moving back in 2007.

"I've seen so many people in our congregation and outside of our congregation, and I've even met people that aren't actually from Sedalia that have come down to see it," Bartol said. "It really means a lot, it holds a special place to the community."

Firefighters initially responded to the fire at 9:49 p.m Wednesday night.

According to the Sedalia Fire Department, a police officer spotted smoke coming from the basement of the church at 117 W. 4th Street.

Firefighters reported seeing flames coming out of the upstairs window when they arrived at the scene. Parts of the roof collapsed only a few minutes after their arrival, they said.

The fire department said no one was in the building at the time of the fire. 

Sedalia Deputy Fire Chief Greg Harrell announced Thursday the church will have to be demolished.

Members of the church community said a candle vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include witness accounts and the most recent information.) 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum for the Columbia Public School's school board and Boone Hospital... More >>
5 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:54:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is backing a contested health care overhaul proposed in the U.S. House.... More >>
6 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:23:27 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As students and families are preparing to go on spring break trips, the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and... More >>
7 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A confrontation between neighbors ended with a man shooting two dogs, the Camden County Sheriff's Office said.... More >>
7 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:44:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University's president, Kevin D. Rome, will resign effective June 30 and the next day take over... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
ST. CLAIR (AP) — Firefighters who put out a blaze in an eastern Missouri woode d area found a man's... More >>
9 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:08:16 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A man who investigators say sexually assaulted a 14-year-old female victim on Monday has been charged with... More >>
9 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal court convicted a Columbia man on charges related to child pornography and sexual exploitation of... More >>
10 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A packed audience learned about the connection between obesity and sleep problems Thursday in the Monsanto Auditorium at... More >>
10 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA— A bill supported by representatives on both sides of the aisle aims to change the way childcare subsidies are... More >>
10 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Residents of Mid-Missouri are accustomed to seeing the large rotunda of the Capitol building in Jefferson City... More >>
10 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Tuesday after witnesses from a deadly shooting connected him with the crime scene. ... More >>
11 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The first African-American to lead the police department in Kansas Cit y, Missouri, i s planning... More >>
12 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fraud charges have been filed against a man accused of e nrolling in a Missouri co... More >>
12 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A Missouri m an has been indicted for allegedly sex trafficking three female victims, including a minor.... More >>
12 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Police arrested a man who led officers on a short chase and had a crystallike substance in his... More >>
12 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents rallied in front of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler's office Thursday morning, asking the Missouri congresswoman to... More >>
12 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:11:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Justice Department attorney says Ferguson, Missouri, i s making "meaningful progress" in enacting policing and... More >>
13 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:31:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
1am 64°
2am 64°
3am 63°
4am 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:07a
The Insider
1:37a
Paid Program
2:07a
Today
1:00a
Cheaters
1:30a
Seinfeld
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Grimm
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Originals
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld