An investigation is still underway into what caused a Lutheran church to burn down in Newberry County Thursday morning.
The St. Paul Lutheran Church in the small town of Pomaria was destroyed by fire Thursday morning. Most of Newberry County’s volunteer firefighters were called to the scene, as well as Newberry city and Lexington County crews. Most of the structure and a rear educational building were destroyed by the fire, which was called in sometime around 6:30 a.m, according to Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster.
There are no reports of injury, but Foster said the church is a total loss, as only its stone walls remain standing. Investigators are on the scene trying to determine the cause of the fire, which they believe started in the rear of the church. The investigation has been turned over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The congregation at St. Paul Lutheran dates back to 1761, although this particular building had been their fourth in their history. The church’s website says the current sanctuary was about 71 years old.