'Trust in God': Pastor offers inspiring message after fire guts historic New Jersey church

ELIZABETH, New Jersey (WABC) -- Investigators remain on the scene of a massive fire that gutted a historic church in New Jersey over the weekend.

Shiloh Baptist Church in Elizabeth went up in flames early Sunday morning, causing the building's roof to collapse.

Fortunately, no one was inside the church at the time and no firefighters were injured.

"It was like a stab in the heart, and then I prayed and I came right over here," Pastor William Ingram said. "It could've been when we were using it, so like I said, we don't have a clue. We were anticipating waking up this morning and coming to church to worship."

Nearby Union Baptist Church opened its doors so members of the Shiloh congregation could worship, as did other congregations in the area.

"It's important because that's what Christians do," Second Macedonia Church Pastor Joe Adair said. "You know, we're not only pastors, we're Christians of course, and it could have been my church."

Pastor Ingram summed up his reaction in three simple words: "Trust In God."

Elizabeth Fire Department Chief Thomas McNamara said it was a sad day and that the church was "pretty much destroyed."

The church dates back to 1879 and was a pillar in the community with multiple outreach programs for the homeless, including a soup kitchen and a clothing ministry.

The investigation is ongoing.

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