CA church, scattered by fire, attempts to come together

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Paradise church websiteA pastor who escaped the deadly flames of California's worst-ever forest fire says he is trying to piece together a church congregation that lost everything except the clothes on their backs.

Tim Bolin, who pastors Paradise Alliance Church, barely escaped the Camp fire that swept through the town on the morning of Nov. 8. The fast-moving flames killed more than 80 people and burned more than 10,000 homes to the ground.

"I'll be honest," he tells OneNewsNow. "I don't know if there's a town left."

 Related stories with Pastor Tim Bolin

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OneNewsNow first reported in a Monday story that Bolin's adult children and their families escaped the flames but lost their homes, and 16 of 21 church staff members watched everything burn to the ground, too.

Bolin's own home and the Clark Road church somehow survived.

So what happens now? Bolin says the only logical plan is to attempt to bring the scattered church body together, although he wondered aloud if he technically has a job anymore if there are no more sheep to shepherd.  

For now, he says, the church members are meeting at Neighborhood Church, located in nearby Chico.

"The theme we have right now is 'engage.' We want to engage our people and get some family back together," he says. 

Even in the charred ruins of Paradise, the pastor adds, the gospel needs to be proclaimed. 

Listen to more of the pastor's interview with OneNewsNow here.

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The needs are great in Paradise lost

Paradise businesses burnedIt's been three weeks since the Camp fire burned down Paradise. A local pastor would like to help put the California community back together – if he can keep himself from falling apart first.