A historic Minneapolis church known for supporting LGBT rights and other progressive causes burned to the ground on Sunday night.
According to the StarTribune, the Walker Community United Methodist Church caught fire around 8:20 p.m. Five of the firefighters who battled the blaze for hours were taken to the hospital, but their injuries were not life threatening.
“Some people at the scene Sunday night speculated lightning was the culprit, while close neighbors said they thought it could be arson,” the paper reported.
Walker Methodist Church is known within the Minneapolis progressive community as a meeting place for various activist groups. Communities United Against Police Brutality CUAPB, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and the Welfare Rights Committee all had offices in the building.
In June 2011, the church adopted a statement supporting LGBT rights and marriage equality.
“Walker Community United Methodist Church will welcome all people to use our facilities to have ceremonies of marriage or other appropriate union services as approved by the pastor,” the statement said. “Walker Community United Methodist Church recognizes that it stands outside the polity of the United Methodist church on this issue. It is our intention to expand and affirm the sanctity of marriage and to lead our denomination in the journey to welcome all people into the circle of our community.”
Members of the congregations were expected to hold a meeting at Living Spirit United Methodist Church on Monday morning to “to gather, grieve, console, and start the plan for our new realities together.”
A church history says that Walker Community United Methodist Church started in 1886 and construction began at the current location in 1909. The building was officially dedicated on Easter Sunday, March 27, 1910.
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