Lifespring congregation gathers after fire

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Portions of Lifespring Church, north of Greencastle, burned to the ground Friday morning. But its congregation is using what happened as an opportunity and a test of their faith. 

On Friday, flames ripped through LifeSpring Church near Greencastle.  The blaze mightier than the 100 firefighters sent in to fight it.  No one was injured in the fire, and its cause is still under investigation.

"I see devastation, but  I see hope," said Andrew Hiatt, surveying the damage on the corner of U.S. 231 and Putnam County Road 500 North. "Because I can see a bigger church where this is at.  And even if it's not here, it's going to be somewhere else."

"We're pretty strong," said Hiatt. "We're pretty positive about it and we're going to move forward from this."

That hope and strength were already on display Sunday afternoon. 

"We just have to stay together, love each other," said Lifespring church elder Steve Keele. "This right here is our church."

Keele was preaching to Lifespring members gathered at a community center to pray. 

"God knew exactly what was gonna happen," said Pastor Gerron Ayteno. "And you know sometimes the reason he allows these things to happen is because he has better things in store for Lifespring Church."  That comment drew applause from his congregation.

Portions of this church burned to its foundation.  But the building itself is fully insured and the plan is to rebuild.

A community of faith with questions seems to have already found the answers. 

The sign in front of the church says, "What will you give up to be closer to God?"

For this congregation, that answer is the building they once called their church.