Nearby neighbors helped by grabbing garden hoses and spraying water on the flames raging through the upstairs windows until firefighters arrived.
Nevertheless, Smith didn’t let the inferno stop him from preaching in a video that has received over 14,000 views, nor did he allow it to disrupt his plans to worship and preach at his church later that morning.
“Hey everybody, it’s Apostle Sammy Smith,” the pastor said in his livestream. “[I’m] standing in front of the ruins of my, used to be, house. God kept everybody — everybody’s out, safely out — the house is probably pretty much destroyed. But God got us out.”
When most would have been devastated, Smith took the moment to speak God’s truth into people’s lives. With a smile on his face he told those watching, “God’s will always has to be done. Sometimes we don’t understand His will, but His will is [going to] be done. I got church out here. I got my neighbors out here. Everybody out here is just, you know, loving on us. Trucks down the street — we done blocked the street off. The firefighters were wonderful. We got everything done.”
“I am doing church this morning,” Smith said. He then joked that he wouldn’t be able to shave, though.
Smith reiterated that God is always good no matter what, saying that he didn’t know his sermon would start before he even got to church. “I just want everybody to know that God is good and that He’s blessing us and it’s gonna be alright. I always say He’ll make a way, [and] sometimes we don’t understand. Like I’ve been saying recently, God may not put the blessing in your hand, but He’ll put it in your reach.”
“So we will see what the Lord is saying from this point. We’ll keep on believing God,” Smith said. “Had a wonderful women’s conference yesterday, and [I’m] going to church today. You all just pray for us. You know that the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. I never thought that this would happen. I’m 64-years-old [and] I’ve never seen a house burn — I’ve never seen my house burn. God has always blessed us.”
Smith shared that the house is only four years old, and he is unsure of his family’s next steps. However, he assured everyone watching that he’ll “be alright. I heard someone say [a] house could be replaced lives cannot [and] everybody’s out and we’re just out here and it’ll be alright.”
“God will create something to open a door for you and sometimes you may think it’s something adverse and something that’s terrible,” Smith said during a Tuesday evening sermon, less than three days after the fire. “Our adversity is His advertisement. He advertises through each and everyone of you.”
One of Grace Cathedral Ministries’ church members said that while the church could be mourning, they are rejoicing that no one was hurt, adding that “God saved [them].”
In a follow-up video, Smith expressed his amazement at the fact that over 12,000 people watched his livestream, saying, “When I preach, I might get four or five hundred people looking.” He joked with his leadership laughingly saying, “Maybe I need some more fire in my preaching — I got to burn down something every week.”
The pastor continued by saying, “God has a way of bringing attention to you, and I want you all to know that He’s about to bring some attention to you. And when He brings this attention to you He’s gonna let you shine.”
The pastor let people know that the fire won’t stop him from doing the Lord’s work, sharing that he doesn’t plan to miss any of his scheduled speaking engagements. Smith said, “We aren’t going to let no little fire stop us. It’s like fire in my bones!”
Smith said the fire was accidental and suspects it started from a heater or electronics near his daughter’s bed. His daughter and godson lost all their possessions in the fire.
Watch Smith’s full livestream below.