Large fire rips through former Atlanta megachurch

Firefighters worked to contain the blaze at Gospel Tabernacle on Clifton Street, which is near Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School.

ATLANTA — Atlanta firefighters are working to find what caused a large fire at an abandoned megachurch.

The fire broke out at the former Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral in southeast Atlanta early Friday morning.

Crews were still putting out hot spots into the afternoon.

Content Continues Below

The center of the building is burned, and the roof is collapsing, along with a lot of structural damage. 
Crews actually had to cut through a locked gate to even get on the property.

Firefighters told Channel 2's Lauren Pozen that the fire started in the foyer and then spread.

The abandoned church on Clifton Street is across the street from Crim Open Campus High School.


The building has been empty for two years – but firefighters say in recent weeks, people have been seen going in and out of it.

Crews searched the building and found no one inside, but they say a man in the area was treated for smoke inhalation.

Before the church closed a couple years ago, it was run by a well-known pastor, Reverend Wiley Jackson.