COLUMBIA, Md. - The Seventh-day Adventist Church, headquartered in Maryland, is organizing fundraising efforts to support nearly 1,300 church members along with the community impacted by the Camp Fire in the Northern California town of Paradise.
Videographer Nancy Hamilton captured images of the destruction to the church's properties in Paradise – the Paradise Adventist Church, a school and an affiliated hospital.
Hamilton's video shows the destroyed church, the K-4 buildings at the school demolished and the damage to the hospital, which firefighters were able to save.
Pastor Dan Martella tells FOX 5 some members of his church community remain unaccounted for, but as far as he knows, no one in the church family has been killed.
"I first saw the pictures of the church Friday afternoon as I was having my lunch," said Martella. "It was a sucker punch and then a day later, we got the pictures of our house. So it's a ride."
Martella lost his own home to the fire, but says he is heartened by the love and support coming from the church community, friends and family.
"The outpouring of love – it is overwhelming, he said. "I cannot keep up with my Facebook friends. They are there expressing their encouragement and support. I can't keep up with that and the people that they don't even call ahead, they just say we're on our way."
A spokesman for the Seventh-day Adventist Church's national headquarters says the church is mobilizing a fundraising campaign and working to send employees to California to help with the recovery.
Fundraising information can be found here: www.communityservices.org