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Fire claims church hours before Easter

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PERKINS, Okla. -- Lighting hit the Immanuel Baptist Church in Perkins early Saturday morning.

Flames quickly engulfed more than half of the building just one day before Easter Sunday.

Dozens of volunteer firefighters from Perkins and Ingalls were first on the scene battling the blaze.

Robin and Tina Foster have pastored the church for seven years.

"It's unbelievable, we're all just in shock," Tina said.

The sanctuary and all the musical equipment are lost.

Three classrooms were damaged by flames.

Parts of the building that weren't singed, have water damage.

The Fosters said the church just got a new roof and the night before, a Baby Grand piano was set up in preparation for a special service.

The estimated damage is about $500,000.

The Free Methodist Camp is allowing parishioners to use the building as they try to rebuild three own.

Church members said they are faithful and praised God on Easter Sunday despite this misfortune.

"We don't know why this happened but we know God is good and good will come from this," Robin said.

If you would like to help, you can reach the church at or