The flames that engulfed his home were no match for his burning faith.
Sammy Smith, founder of Grace Cathedral Ministries in Piedmont, South Carolina, took to Facebook Live on Monday morning as the Simpsonville Fire Department worked to contain a fire that had overtaken the second floor of his home, according to local news outlet WYFF.
“My house is on fire. My house is on fire,” he repeated several times — adding, “Oh, my God” and “Jesus” — as flames roared in a video posted to his personal Facebook page.
“It’s burning up, y’all. Y’all are watching it live, just like I am,” he said.
Once flames had subsided, Smith went live again. “It’s Apostle Sammy Smith, standing in front of the ruins of my used-to-be house,” he said of his blackened home, which was built only about four years ago, he said.
“The house is probably pretty much destroyed. But God got us out,” he said with a smile during the impromptu sermon. “And, you know, God’s will always has to be done. Sometimes we don’t understand his will.”
He then panned the camera to show that his neighbors had even joined the effort alongside first responders to douse the fire: “I got my neighbors out here … Everybody out here is just loving on us.”
“The firefighters were wonderful … It’s gonna be all right,” he added before asking for prayers. “Y’all just pray for us.”
“It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what you do, tragedy and circumstances can happen, you know?” he later told WYFF. “You just have to be able to roll with the punches sometimes.”
The father and faith leader said he believed that the fire started by accident, suspecting a busted heating unit or electronics gone haywire. Blessedly, no one was hurt.
Grace Cathedral congregants expressed gratitude towards their God for sparing Apostle Smith, reported WYFF.
“Knowing that God had saved their lives, preserved their lives, that was what was important to us as a church family — for us to still have them here,” said church member Thomas Bell. “We could be mourning now, but instead of mourning we can rejoice because we know God saved he preserved.”
Smith told the news station that his daughter and godson, whose bedrooms were upstairs, lost everything in the fire. But, more importantly, their lives were spared.
He also thanked the community for their support.
“They were bringing up donations and putting them in my hand. And I felt their love. And when I felt their love I became a crybaby. And it was something … not about the house, not about any of that stuff not about the clothes that were lost, not about the stuff — their love moved me.”