Crouch Memorial Pentecostal Church of God In Christ, a historical church and a fixture in the South Los Angles community was set ablaze earlier this week. The fire, which was reported at 9:27 am on Tuesday morning, caused the roof to cave in, trapping two firemen underneath, and demanding the service of over 150 firefighters, who battled the flames for 4 hours. The beautiful white Romanesque-style Church was formerly named Beth Eden Baptist Temple, and had been a beacon of light in the South Los Angeles community for over 100 years.
The church was built in 1895, and according to some accounts, may have been the hub for Los Angeles prohibition efforts during the 1920’s. It was previously listed on the National Register of Historic Place.
When asked about the source of the blaze, the church’s current pastor, Pastor Lawrence McGee who was inside the building at the fire’s inception, stated that the fire erupted after he lit the churches wall heater. An official cause has not been determined.
Despite the intensity of the flames, the firemen were able to protect all nearby homes. In addition, parishioners were able to save the organ and a few other items.
West Angeles is standing with the pastor and congregation of Crouch Memorial Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, and is praying for the renewed strength of the injured firefighters and their families.