Congregation of burned-down church finds a temporary place to worship

Jul. 25, 2014 @ 04:30 PM

TOWNSVILLE — Members of a church that burned down Tuesday have found a temporary place to worship.

The Rev. Glendora Hargrove said all are welcome to attend Woods Worth Baptist Church’s service at New Hope Elementary School, where services will be held until the church decides its next move.

“Right now, we are just praying for guidance and asking God to bring us to a place of restoration,” she said.

The fire destroyed everything but the front portion of the building, which includes the main entrance steps and a wheelchair accessible ramp.

Hargrove said they weren’t able to salvage any of their treasured belongings.

“Everything was special to us,” she said. “Our church was special to us, but we have strong faith that God will bring us through.”

No one was injured in the fire, but she said losing her church was a heavy blow.

“It’s just a time for us to reflect,” she said. “Anytime you have a loss, you have different emotions.”

Hargrove said she remembers key events that happened in the building, such as baptisms and marriages.

The church was established in 1872 and has grown to about 150 members.

The building on Woodsworth Road has been their place of worship for more than 100 years; it was rebuilt in 1988.

“The church had grown spiritually and materially,” she said.

Hargrove has been acting pastor for three years and associate pastor for seven years before that.

Townsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Daren Small said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — as well as the State Bureau of Investigation — are involved in the investigation, which is standard procedure whenever a church burns.

He said so far, there is only speculation as to a cause of the fire, but he expects final reports to come back next week.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.