Pastor Marshall Lee Barnes has barely eaten or slept since the moment he first smelled smoke at his East Baltimore church, the historic Grace Memorial Baptist Church, Sunday morning.
Pastor Marshall Lee Barnes had barely eaten or slept since the moment he first smelled smoke at his East Baltimore church Sunday morning.
Instead, Barnes had been on the phone, fielding calls from religious leaders across the city, all offering help to the now-displaced congregants of the historic Grace Memorial Baptist Church.
“There’s been an overwhelming outpouring of love,” Barnes said Monday. “The church community and pastors, both black and white, have been overwhelmingly helpful. They’re offering if I need to use their place, give them a call. If we need a place to meet, give them a call.”
About two dozen parishioners were studying the story of Abraham and Isaac during Sunday school when a two-alarm fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. All were able to escape the building safely. Firefighters worked to contain the flames billowing from the church’s roof.
“The fire may have burned our building, but it didn’t burn our faith,” Barnes said. “We’re grateful that we’re all intact. We plan to be back on the corner of Chase and Eden streets as soon as possible.”