FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A congregation is keeping the faith after flames ripped through their church days before Christmas. Photos showed the devastating damage that was inside.

During one of the holiest weekends of the year, Mount Bethel’s Fort Lauderdale sanctuary was silent.

Photos posted by the church’s leadership on Tuesday showed the sanctuary scorched and unrecognizable. They also thanked Fort Lauderdale first responders.

“I’m so grateful that God has blessed us to be able to come together on this Sunday morning,” said Bishop C.E. Glover, the church’s senior pastor.

The fire broke out at Mount Bethel Baptist Church in the area of Northwest Ninth Street and 12th Avenue, Saturday night.

“Once units arrived, we found heavy smoke coming from the second floor of the building,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Garrett Pingol. “We went to an aggressive attack mode and began to mitigate what was a fire isolated to the first floor of the church.”

Crews discovered that the fire began in the sanctuary, the main auditorium of the church, but officials have not specified what caused the flames to start.

It took 35 minutes and close to 100 firefighters to put the flames out.

Although the church wasn’t open for business, leaders hosted their Christmas Eve service virtually.

“I do know that we have some extensive damage to our sanctuary,” Glover said.

Glover also sought prayers as the community of faith determined their next steps.

“I need you to pray fervently, number one, that God will show himself strong during this time,” Glover said. “God’s going to bless us to build back better.”

The process to rebuild is now underway. The ministry is also looking for donations to speed up the process.

Officials have not determined the cause of the fire.

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