By Natalie Zarowny
You can still smell the smoke from the fire at the Zion Lutheran Church in Kewanee, IL.
Now, the congregation is just trying to figure out what's next
"You hear about it with so many other places, but for it to be your place, that's a whole other story then," said Pastor John Schweppe, of Zion Lutheran Church.
Pastor Schweppe got a call at around 9:30 Sunday night.
He was told news no one wants to hear. His church was on fire
"There's the first couple of seconds of going 'Oh my God' and then after that, next thing is to go ahead and figure out who needs to be called, things like that," said Pastor Schweppe.
Kewanee firefighters showed up within minutes.
"We had several crews go in, we was finally able to find the seed of the fire, was able to knock it down, we were on the scene approximately 'till 2:30 in the morning," said Chief Paul Schaecher of the Kewanee Fire Department.
Crews dropped about 28,000 gallons of water on the flames.
The fire was contained to the offices and Sunday school center, but there's water and debris throughout the church.
The fire marshal is inspecting the damage.
"And we're trying to determine exactly what the nature of it was," said Chief Schaecher.
Pastor Schweppe is in shock, but said he's grateful to the fire crews, and especially the neighbors who saw the flames.
Without their call, the damage could have been a lot worse.
"Now some people would call that circumstance, some people will call it serendipity, I kind of wonder if maybe God's hand was in that, in having that neighbor look at that precise moment," said Pastor Schweppe.
Fire investigators said they don't know when folks will be able to get back into the church.
As for Sunday services, Pastor Schweppe said other congregations are offering their space.