Leaders of a church on Chicago's Far South Side made a commitment to rebuild Monday in the hours following a devastating fire that destroyed their building.
The building that houses Beacon Light Ministries in the 11000 block of South Michigan Avenue was deemed a "total loss," fire officials said.
When firefighters arrived on the scene at around 12:30 p.m., they called out a two-alarm fire and began battling the blaze. During the fire, the roof on the building collapsed, and the Chicago Fire Department entered what it called “defensive mode.”
A food pantry was housed at the church, but the fire completely wiped out all of the pantry's items, as well as clothes and school supplies, according to the pastor.
Beacon Light Ministries has gained a reputation in the community for offering support to those in need and feeding more than 75 families every Sunday.
"We worked so hard to get the donations to give back to our community," said Pastor Jerome Powell. "We come outside the four walls of our ministry as a helping hand to see all of this... just go up in smoke."
Powell said the church's efforts won't be set back, and they'll continue to be there for the people of Roseland.
"That's what you call ministry," he said. "What you call love."