Frequently Asked Questions About the Fire

Frequently Asked Questions

We are devastated and crushed that our beloved physical sanctuary at Middle Collegiate Church has burned. And yet no fire can stop Revolutionary Love. If anyone has photos or information about anything regarding the fire, Middle Church would like to know about it. Please contact Rev. Amanda at

Right now there is much that we do not know. And we promise that we will keep you updated with the most up-to-date information as soon as we know more.

Please consult the list of frequently asked questions below. For any other inquiries, please contact Rev. Benjamin Perry at

Do you know the cause of the fire?

The Fire Marshall has concluded their investigation; but we do not yet have the official written report. What we’ve been told is: It has been confirmed that the fire originated in the building to our north and the cause was electrical in nature. We will have more to say to our community and to the press once we see the official report.

Is the Liberty Bell intact?

Yes! The NYC Department of Buildings announced that their engineers discovered that the Liberty bell was not damaged during the fire. Our bell will ring again, and our love is still ringing.

Did Shul of New York’s Torah survive?

Yes! The Shul of New York holds Shabbat services in our building, and we are thrilled that their Torah and other worship materials survived the fire. We are praying for this community—as they have also been displaced from their physical home—and look forward to reimagining worship with them.

Will the Middle Church façade stand?

We are still determining the future of the façade and whether it is structurally sound. We will update you as soon as we know more.

Did other parts of the church at 50 E. 7th St. survive the fire?

The entire church was damaged in the fire and the FDNY’s heroic efforts to put it out.  The demolition of the building to the north is complete; our sanctuary debris is being cleared right now. The east wall of the sanctuary (the one in which the “dove” window lived) has to come down in order to stabilize the site. While we are hopeful that we will be able to renovate other parts of the building, right now none of the church is usable and will definitely need restoration.

How can we help Middle Church right now?

Please, go to to make a donation, and to read more about how you can help. And please share this video with everyone you know, to tell them about this tragedy and encourage them to donate as well. If you would like to offer other assistance, email Ellen Matlach. And please, click here to join this incredible movement of revolutionary love!

We offer prayers of thanksgiving that there were no fatalities. We’re grateful to the FDNY for their fine work in this case, and for the collaboration between the NYPD, the Department of Buildings, and all the agencies and entities who are helping us move through this difficult time.

All press inquiries, please email