Church leaders, congregation trying to move forward after fire - KCTV5

Church leaders, congregation trying to move forward after fire

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It's a church that's stood in the Westport area for more than 100 years. But after a devastating fire, church leaders are now trying to determine its future.

The scene in Westport is just as shocking as it was for Westport Presbyterian Church members late last week when their historic building went up in flames.

Church members made a new home at the Second Presbyterian Church at 55th and Brookside this weekend. That's where many members will attend Sunday service while leaders determine what will happen to the century-old building.

Firefighters said the Thursday evening fire started with the ignition of combustible materials during the installation of an air-conditioning unit on the roof. The fire was ruled accidental.

"The question is, is it going to be rebuilt or restored and I think structural engineers are going to be a deciding factor in that and the insurance company," said Scott Myers, the Westport Presbyterian Church pastor.

Church members said they are thankful that the walls of the church are still standing. It is in those walls that they keep hope alive that the building can be saved.

The church fire also destroyed the offices of Westport Cooperative Services and that is just the latest blow against the charity.

Tuesday, Sean Patrick Taylor, the former executive director of the group will appear in court on federal charges that he stole more than $133,000 from WCS and the Epilepsy Foundation.

Taylor served as the executive director for both agencies between 2007 and 2010. Prosecutors said he spent nearly half the money he embezzled at casinos.

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