A South Side church and food pantry is vowing to rebuild after a fire over the weekend--and it's not the first hurdle its founders have faced.
Church members carried out burned chairs and debris Tuesday from the Mother Jones Food Pantry and Sanctuary Family Worship Center. The charity's headquarters was destroyed by a fire on Sunday.
"It looks like a hell hole," church member Jeremy Jordin said. "It’s like the devil came in here."
While the building still stands, everything inside is a total loss due to an electrical fire. It left Bishop Virgil Jones in tears.
"I couldn’t imagine not being able to help the people who need the help," he said.
Jones and his mother started the food pantry in the West Pullman neighborhood 10 years ago.
The charity's namesake, Jones' mother, is in intensive care after suffering a stroke in December. She hasn’t seen how the fire destroyed what she worked so hard to build.
"This is a small place, a small church, we’re a small family, but we serve a big community," the bishop said.
The devastating fire isn’t the first challenge the food pantry has had to face, Jones said.
"Someone stole our food truck, they’ve broken in our church," he said. "It’s been a lot of challenges, but there’s a lot of angels in Chicago and I’m determined to move forward."
A neighboring church is opening up its space for church services. As far as the food pantry, Jones said he doesn’t have insurance and he’s hoping the community will come forward to help.