Jones County church steeple hit by lightning, set on fire

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - As severe thunderstorms rolled through Jones County Monday morning lightning struck the steeple of Good Hope Baptist Church on Highway 15 South in the Landrum community of Jones County, setting it on fire.

At 9:05 a.m. Volunteer Fire Departments from Glade, M&M, Powers, Union and Ovett responded to the church fire where the steeple was destroyed and the fire was contained to the attic space of the church.

"God blessed us," exclaimed Pastor Ricky Mitchell, "We are a close knit community, and everyone responded quickly."

"There was no damage to the sanctuary," stated Dan McKenna, Jones County Fire Coordinator.  "The man above was looking down. Usually a steeple fire ends up destroying the entire church building."

According to McKenna, when he and the Glade firefighters first arrived on scene, several citizens had stopped to help, had hooked up a garden hose and where trying to spray water on the burning steeple.

"One of the citizens must have been a firefighter somewhere," said McKenna. "He gave us a great size-up of the situation when we arrived. Once we got the fire under control, he left, headed for Alabama on a work assignment."

Also responding to the fire scene was Jones County Emergency Management Assistant Director Rodney Parker, who provided tarps to cover the hole in the church roof left by the fire.

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