PUNE, INDIA (November 28, 2011) – Fire gutted St. Andrew’s Church – the “flagship church” of the Hindustani Covenant Church (HCC) – late Sunday or early Monday morning, Covenant News Service has learned.
“All the leadership at this juncture has been totally devastated by this incident,” Stephen David, moderator of the denomination and pastor of the congregation, wrote to Evangelical Covenant Church leaders. “We as the church members and the leadership of the church are in grief and sorrow for this incident.”
The church was the first in the HCC, according to Boaz Johnson, professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park University. Multiple congregations that spoke different Indian languages met in the building, he added.
The HCC headquarters are located next to the church, but were not damaged, said David Husby, director of Covenant World Relief.
Stephen David thanked the Covenant for the support it has shown his denomination, adding, “We request you to pray for the Hindustani Covenant Church and especially for all the members that God would give us strength, patience and peace. The Hindustani Covenant Church is committed to continue God’s ministry even in the face of difficulties and challenges.”
Police are investigating the cause. Covenant News Service will publish additional information as it becomes available. Click here to view additional photos.