ASPERMONT (BP)—Kenny Platte, pastor of First Baptist Church in Aspermont, got a call at midnight June 19 letting him know the church building was on fire.
The fire, sparked by fallen electrical lines, was contained by the Stonewall County Fire Department to only the main building, which collapsed at 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 20.
No other structures were harmed, according to KTAB. No one was injured, and no other property damage was incurred.
The church, which averages about 60 people each Sunday, held services June 21 in the Family Life Center, a secondary building only 12 feet from where the main building stood. The service, which followed social distancing protocols due to the global pandemic, was uploaded to Facebook later in the day.
Dealing with grief and loss
The congregation is engaging in intense prayer regarding the loss of the building and how to move forward as a community, Platte said.
“The people are going through their grief of the loss of the building,” he said. “Remembering ‘I was baptized there,’ or ‘My wedding was done there,’ (or) ‘My grandma’s funeral was done there.’ They all remember all those things, and so, that process is a very real process for them.”
Shepherding the congregation through the loss will be the main focus for the weeks to come, he said.
“In time, God allows those memories to be things that they really cherish, and they can continue to walk with the Lord through this,” he said.
The church anticipates rebuilding, and church staff will meet to begin those plans, Platte said.