PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two weeks after a massive fire engulfed a West Philadelphia church, we are seeing the heartbreaking destruction. Only Eyewitness News is taking you inside Greater Bible Way Temple to show you the devastation.
Licenses and Inspections ordered a cease and desist on the homeless shelter at the historic Greater Bible Way Temple on Tuesday. But, church leadership is on a mission to rebuild.
It’s a humble house of God. No walls, just a tent.
But it is where members of Greater Bible Way Temple will worship until their church is rebuilt, after it was destroyed by a massive blaze.
“Our church is in ruin. We need about $2.5 million to go through the insurance we already have. The walls are intact,” Bishop Benjamin Peterson says.
But that is about all that is intact.
Bishop Peterson gave Eyewitness News an exclusive inside look at the damage.
Licenses and Inspections issued an intent to cease on Tuesday afternoon for dozens of people living in the church’s homeless shelter. This comes after it was classified as imminently dangerous.
“Our hearts are broken, their hearts are broken. Now we’re looking at other means to see how we can help them,” Bishop Peterson said.
As the homeless look for a new place to seek shelter, the bishop is asking for the public’s help.
“We need help. Would you help us? We need help,” he pleaded.
But despite what the church looks like on the inside, Greater Bible Way Temple still chooses to worship.
Even through the circumstances look grim, the church believes “things will get better.”
“I declare the temple has just got better. We will rise!” Bishop Peterson proclaimed.
There will be a fundraising worship service at Sharon Baptist Church, located on Conshohocken Avenue, on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.
Greater Bible Way Temple has a GoFundMe page set-up for donations.