by: Liz Artz Updated:
GRIFFIN, Ga. - A Spalding County church that burned to the ground the day after Christmas is raising money with scrap metal to help pay for a new building.
Fire officials think the church was struck by lightning when it caught fire last week.
On Monday demolition crews worked to clear out brick and level the building.
New Salem Baptist Church's pastor, Mike Barnes, told Channel 2's Liz Artz bricks are being saved for a memorial at their new facility and all the recyclable metal in the church is being sold and the money will be used to build a new church.
Barnes said copper and aluminum is being sold immediately to prevent theft. Copper is currently worth about $3.50 a pound.
He hopes to raise $5,000
from the scrap metal.
Church leaders are also working with the city to get proper permits for portable buildings.
The buildings will be used temporarily for Sunday school and a nursery.
On Sunday, 180 people attended service at the church's family center.
Barnes said they had grown out of the church building and were praying about building a new larger facility when the building caught fire.
He told Channel 2 Action News that even though it might not be the way we wanted our prayers answered, god answered the prayers.
Barnes is not sure where the new facility will be built or if the old property is
big enough to build a large enough building to house New Salem's growing congregation.