Bayou church moves ‘forward’ following devastating fire

Mobile County

IRVINGTON, Ala. (WKRG) — A south Mobile County church is seeing a rebirth.  The church was gutted by fire in 2017. Today they officially unveiled their plans to rebuild under a new name. 

In April 2017 at this bayou church flames and smoke gutted their main sanctuary.  Since then, the more than 200-member church has used their gym for services and other church functions. The foundation of the old building is still visible in the parking lot. While the place has gone by several names in its long history, Sunday they unveiled their new building plans under a new name Forward Church.  

“It’s here and we’re so excited it’s significant for us, we’ve only been here two years but also big for the people who’ve been here for their entire lives,” said the pastor’s wife Cassie Driver. Longtime church members say this place is a vital part of the community. 

“The presence of God is here and people love that spirit we went from a fire on Thursday to church on Sunday and never stopped giving God the glory,” said longtime member Rosa Zirlott.

The pastor here said it took a lot of hard work and faith to make this dream a reality. 

“We understood this church had to go through a healing process and it took time, the two and a half years we’ve been here, God has brought this church through a healing process, and I feel we’re at a place where we move forward together,” said Lead Pastor Justin Driver. They hope to break ground next month and might have a new building ready for use next year.


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