Kings Highway Christian Church hosts service and lunch for first responders after fire

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SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KSLA) – It has been several weeks since lightning struck a fire at Kings Highway Christian Church in Shreveport. And while repairs to the historic Kings Highway building at Line Avenue will take some time, the congregation gathered this weekend to host a service and lunch for first responders.

“Our tree of life at the top, that lightning hit it, and it exploded like a bomb,” said Christine Thompson, church administrator. “He went through the roof, in the rafters of the balcony in the wood; and that’s where the fire started.

Thompson said it was a scary time for the congregation. As you walk into the church today, you can still smell the smoke. Thompson said it could have been a lot worse if the firefighters’ response hadn’t been so good.

“We had a response team from almost every fire unit in Shreveport. We even had, from what I understood, one from Bossier.

The connection between the church and the Shreveport Fire Department runs deep. Former fire chief Dallas Greene was a longtime member.

“Dallas has always been so supportive of what was going on in this church, and so have all of its firefighters,” Thompson recalls. “It was not unusual for us to have firefighters joining us for worship. They would come in, take off their helmets and sit on the back bench.

On Sunday October 3, the church hosted a service and lunch to thank the firefighters.

The congregation also presented the fire department with a plaque to show their appreciation.

“We’re going to celebrate what they’ve done for us and how they’ve maintained the integrity of such an ancient structure,” Thompson said ahead of the events.

“Church fires get pretty bad pretty quickly,” said SFD Battalion Commander Michael Perser. “We were blessed to have been able to get the situation under control before it got out of hand. Everything was incredibly fast. God was really looking after this church.

Perser, who was one of the firefighters, said luckily someone saw lightning strike the church and first responders were able to get there within minutes, putting out the blaze before it does not spread.

“We don’t do these things to thank you,” Perser said. “We do this because we are called.

“It was great that the church congregation that Dallas Greene attended honored us by hosting a luncheon and service in our honor.”

The church says it hopes the repairs will be completed by its 100th anniversary. Kings Highway Christian was founded in 1923.

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