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St. Simon Baptist Church In Orange Park Gutted By Fire

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Clay County Fire Rescue
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Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze at St. Simon Baptist Church.

Clay County Fire Rescue and the Orange Park Fire Department battled an overnight blaze at St. Simon Baptist Church in the 1300 block of Miller Street.

Clay County Fire Rescue said shortly after midnight on Friday there were no injuries "but the structure is a total loss." According to officials, the church was undergoing renovations. 

WJCT News partner News4Jax reached out to the chruch's membership, which has a congregation of about 150 people. 

Moyenda Ambakisye, the pastor’s assistant, told News4Jax it’s overwhelming to see the aftermath.

“What’s next? Where do we go from here? How do we rebuild?” Ambakisye told News4Jax. “We will. Those are just a few of my questions that I have. (It’s) a test of faith.”

More information about St. Simon Baptist Church is available on the congregation's website.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.