This is all that remains of the Hartline Church of God in Bankston. Source: Kelvin Reynolds
A marker at the church in memory of the church's founder, Benjamin F. Perkins. Source: Kelvin Reynolds
Remains of Hartline Church of God. Source: Kelvin Reynolds
An undated photo of what the Hartline Church of God once looked like. Source: Shelia Perkins McMurry
A more recent photo of the church building that burned in the fire. Source: Jeanne Taylor
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
A church in the Bankston community of Fayette County burned to the ground after catching on fire Wednesday night.
Volunteer firefighters were called to a fire at the Hartline Church of God on Hartline Road around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The fire quickly became fully involved, and burned down the sanctuary in minutes.
A volunteer firefighter and Amy Lowery, the neice of the church's founder Benjamin Perkins, surveyed the damage on Thursday morning. A few charred beams and ashes were all that remained of the sanctuary. About half of the fellowship hall and a metal water fountain are the only things still standing.
Lowrey said church members called her last night in tears to tell her the building was burning down. She said in the early 1960's her uncle wanted to build a church the folks in Bankston could rally around. She added that she's glad he's not alive to see it in this condition.
"It is a disaster, it is heartbreaking to know that his church, that he built with his own hands, burned," Lowery said.
A historical marker noting the church's founder, Benjamin F. Perkins, was still intact near the church's remains.
Another neice of Perkins, Shelia Perkins McMurry, emailed photos of the original church building for FOX6.
Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office will determine what started the fire.