“Though odds were against us God was not.”
In the predawn hours of Sunday, March 3, 2019, a massive fire swept through the Freedom Ministries church in Grandview, WV.
The fire was so overwhelming the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department had to call in the Coal City Fire Department for assistance.
In a Facebook post, Coal City Fire Department stated, “Picture this, a building so hot that at one-point firefighters had to back out.”
Once the fire was extinguished, the real mystery revealed itself when the firefighters entered to investigate the fire further to determine the source…
As they entered the church home to approximately 250 parishioners, complete destruction was anticipated.
However, to their shock, all the bibles in the church laid in the ashes untouched.
Additionally, three crosses also survived the fire.
The Coal City Fire Department’s Facebook post read “In your mind, everything should be burned, ashes.”
Thankfully, even with the blaze causing the firefighters to vacate for a while, none were injured in the fire either. Additionally, the post said, “Though odds were against us, God was not.”
The bibles, numbering nearly two dozen, had been scattered throughout the sanctuary of the non-denominational church.
While the church will need rebuilding, the church’s pastor, Reverend Phil Farrington, in a Freedom Ministries Facebook post revealed: “we will be ok.”
The story quickly spread across even mainstream media as people took note of the apparent miracle that happened approximately 70 miles from Charleston, WV in the rural mountains.
The Washington Post went as far as to speculate that perhaps the bibles had been treated with a fire retardant which prevented them from burning.
One of their reporters reached out to the largest Bible publisher, Zondervan, for further investigation regarding the question of whether the bibles were treated or not.
Melinda Bouma from Zondervan revealed to the Washington Post that “there is nothing in the production process that would protect them from fire.”
Bouma went on to explain that Isaiah 40:8 came to mind: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God endures forever.”
As the story started to make its rounds on social media, it became clear the circumstance of a Bible not being destroyed in a fire is perhaps not that unusual, as many individuals presented their own anecdotal stories with the same refrain.
Included in these stories are examples of Bibles surviving destructive house fires of either close relatives or the individuals directly.
God demonstrated His ability to make the supernatural or unexplainable happen throughout the Bible starting at creation and again and again throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
From the burning bush where Moses first encountered God (Exodus 3:2) to the staff that Moses carried to visit Pharaoh (Exodus 4:2-5) through the plagues (Exodus 7-12), including the Passover, which culminated in the miraculous parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14) which allowed the Israelites to finally escape their captivity in Egypt.
But God did not stop there. Moving on through the Old Testament are stories like David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and Samson (Judges 13-16) where supernatural strength and intervention provided by God was present in protecting Israel.
In the New Testament, Jesus performed signs and miracles all throughout his ministry including healing the sick: “Jesus went throughout Galilee … healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures and the paralyzed and he healed them” (Matthew 4:23-24).
Jesus performed these miracles and signs so much that John 21:25 states “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have enough room for the books that would be written.”
God is still in the signs and miracles business, while this fire aimed to destroy God had a reason for showing that He still is in control of the elements. If we pay attention, there are hundreds, if not thousands of stories like these. While our faith is based on the unseen, these little moments can provide a little boost for each of us.
In the aftermath of the fire, please keep the Freedom Ministries church in your prayers as they work to rebuild their church home. And keep your eyes open, you never know where the next sign or miracle will occur!