Lightning Strike Causes Fire at 160-Year-Old Massachusetts Church

DATELINE: SPENCER, Mass. – The First Congregational Church of Spencer was destroyed Friday afternoon by a five-alarm fire.

The flames were so strong, they caused the church’s steeple to collapse. The church also had a cell tower on it, and it was destroyed as well.

The church was a total loss, there are no reports of injuries.


The Rev. Bruce MacLeod, who took over as the church’s pastor in February and watched it burn from across Main Street, thought of the church’s full pipe organ, its pantry and its parishioners.

“The most value for it is in terms of people’s connection to it,” said MacLeod. “Life events happen here – weddings, funerals, baptisms.”

The church, at 207 Main St., has a long history in town. The congregation dates to 1743. The current church was built in 1863 after fire destroyed the previous building a year earlier. The current church was expanded in the 1960s.


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