Fire Destroys Historic Church, Congregation Eyes Rebuild

From the West Alabama Newsroom–

Fire destroys a historic west Alabama church — however the church congregation is determined to rebuild.

A pile of mangled metal — scorched wood — and debris — is all that’s left of the historic Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Hale County.

Wal Churchdestroyed Pkg2The church burned to the ground — at around 1 am Friday morning, August 19th.

“When I got up on Highway 80 and could see the blaze, I told my wife, I said, “Honey, it’s gone. It’s gone,” said Pastor James Murdock.

“And when I really got there, I didn’t want to believe my eyes.”

“All of that old timber was pine. And man, it burned just like somebody poured kerosene on it. No way you could put it out,” said Deacon Charles Hall.

The church building sat on Highway 80 just east of Demopolis — for 98 years. And was a vital part — of the lives of people in and around the Freetown community.

Working to feed the spirit — body — and mind — the church regularly held summer feeding and tutoring programs.

Wal Churchdestroyed Pkg“When the school system in this area, we had failing schools — they brought in English teachers. They brought in math teachers to teach our students to make sure we were set up for success,” said church member Maurice Gunter.

The congregation continues to meet for service, even though the church building has been destroyed. The church now meets at the Gallion Volunteer Fire Department for Sunday service.

Members say the old church building holds a lot of memories — and they’re determined to rebuild.

“We’re praying and asking the Lord for direction of what way to go to rebuild, said Murdock. But we know, the Lord is with us.

Anyone who would like to help the congregation to rebuild the church — call 334-289-3680.

Categories: News, West Alabama