Death Notice – Chuck Hefley

CHUCK HEFLEY, long-time North Indiana Conference lay leader and supporter of camping and Epworth Forest, died Wednesday, June 24, 2009. A memorial service is tentatively planned for Saturday, July 11 at Grace United Methodist Church in Kokomo. The Rev. Steve Beutler, pastor of Kokomo Grace, reported that Hefley had hoped to be strong enough to attend Annual Conference.

Car crashes into Anderson area UMC, starts large fire

Firefighters responded to the Bethel United Methodist Church at County Road 200 South and Layton Road, just south of Anderson around 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 24. State police say two cars got into an accident on County Road 200 South, sending one of the cars into the church. The car caught fire and the flames spread to the building. The 48-year-old building’s education center was consumed by fire. “There’s water damage in this area and I don’t know if any of that extends into the sanctuary and there’s a lot of smoke damage,” said Pastor Neil Butcher.

Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson says crews from eight fire departments fought the fire and managed to put the flames out. Damage was contained to one wing of the church. “We just know that once it caught fire, the driver was pulled from it. As the first responders were responding to the scene that the flame and heat was very intense,” said Richardson. He said three people suffered apparent minor injuries in the crash. The driver of the car that hit the church, 60-year-old Gregory Scott of Anderson, was pulled from his burning car by a passerby. The driver of the other car, 23-year-old Joshua Smith, and his passenger were taken to an Anderson hospital.

No one was in the church at the time of the crash about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Butcher told Indianapolis Channel 13 Eyewitness News they have insurance and plan to rebuild. They will hold church services outside Sunday or in a nearby barn, if necessary.

-- WTHR TV  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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