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Youngstown church catches fire Saturday morning

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Fire crews battled a fire at Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church in Youngstown Saturday morning. 

Congregation members gathered in disbelief as Youngstown Fire Fighters battled the blaze that had consumed the rotunda of their church.

"It's like my Bishop died some years ago and it was bad enough the pain that we felt then, and it's just like a part of me is burning," said Former Church Member Lauren Burnette.

No one was in the church at the time.

A regularly scheduled prayer service that would have been in progress was canceled so families could spend time at home for the holiday.

"I suppose you could call it a blessing in disguise because normally we do have a prayer every Saturday morning at 9 a.m.," said Pastor Shawn Tyson. "This might be the only week in the year where we wouldn't have that morning prayer."

But as more congregation members gathered in the parking lot to watch, the congregation did join hands in prayer.

"One thing is for certain the church is not a building, the church is the people and Gods spirit in them," said Pastor Tyson. "So the church will move on, we'll be revealed, we'll recover and we'll move forward by faith."

Fire Chief John On'Neill says the cause of the fire is still under investigation but, it does not appear to be suspicious.

Four firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting the fire.

The rotunda and front entrance of the church are a complete loss. Other portions of the building have significant smoke damage that is estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Sunday services will be moved to New Bethel Baptist Church on Hillman Street at 4 p.m.

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