Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Previously Flooded Church Burned to the Ground

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Come hell and high water: St. Paul AME Church is destroyed by flood and fire.
  • Come hell and high water: St. Paul AME Church is destroyed by flood and fire.

Last month, Memphis Flyer reporter Hannah Sayle interviewed the Rev. George Turks after his North Memphis church was filled with floodwater.

Last night, Turks' St. Paul AME Church was destroyed by fire. The church had already been abandoned after damage caused by flooding. Fire broke out at the church on McNeil just after 1 a.m., and though Memphis firefighters responded quickly, the church is not salvageable.

After the flood, Turks told the Flyer he was going to the Small Business Administration to take out a loan because the Federal Emergency Management Agency doesn't provide funds for churches to rebuild. Turks planned to use the loan to build in a new location.

"We'll never be able to go back in the church that's been under water because there's too much damage," Turks told the Flyer after the floodwaters had begun to recede in mid-May. "And we will not build in a flood zone again. It may never flood again, but we will not take that chance."

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