Some very sad news from the community of Friend, Nebraska today. Neighbors reported smelling smoke as early as 6:00 this morning, however the heavy fog made it difficult to pinpoint the source. By the time firefighters arrived at the Friend United Methodist Church at 9:00, fire had engulfed the church building.
From what I've heard, it's believed that the fire started in the sanctuary area and could have been smoldering since the night before. The cause remains unknown. Unfortunately, the building is likely a total loss. As you can see from the photo, it's unlikely that much can be salvaged from the building. I do hope that what little remains of the stained glass will be saved for potential reuse.
Please keep this congregation in your prayers. I’m sure that the following weeks and months will be marked by an intense time of discernment about how to move forward from this disaster. For more on this story, including videos, visit 10-11 News.