Community rallies behind church after devastating fire

WAAY 31 spoke with church members and learned what comes next for the worshippers.

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 11:13 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 11:39 AM

Multiple churches have opened their doors to the congregation of Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Arab after a fire destroyed their place of worship Tuesday night. WAAY 31 spoke with church members and learned what comes next for the worshippers.

“It’s like a death in the family. It’s like one of your relatives died," said Shelby Beam. "You feel like you’re kind of in a haze or in a dream. Like when I woke up this morning, I was like, ‘Man, I had a bad dream.’ But it’s reality.” That’s how Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church member Shelby Beam explained what it feels like to lose her church. "It was a place where I looked forward to coming to," Beam said. "I went to school in Kentucky and it was one of the main reasons I wanted to ever come home.”

However, Beam says the church is not gone with the building. She says the church still lives within its members. "Warrior Creek is going to meet every Sunday," she said. "It might not be in the same place all the time, but we’ll definitely get together.”

Many other churches in the area have already called and offered a helping hand as well. "We have an old sanctuary, so they can use that. Also, I know Desperation has reached out, Shady Grove has reached out, Hopewell has reached out. In a time of need, we all pull together," said Leeann Still who is a member of Union Hill Congregational Methodist Church.

Beam says the community's outpouring of support is something she will be forever grateful for. "Union Hill is not the same denomination as Warrior Creek, and so for them to be able to reach out, it just shows how much this community cares for one another," she said.

And while the church members have a long road of rebuilding ahead of them, they say they aren’t going to let that hinder them from continuing to worship. "Even though our building is gone and it was a beautiful place and somewhere where I wanted to get married one day, they’re going to build it back and it’s going to be okay," Beam said.

Church members tell WAAY 31 they plan on meeting in front of the church again on Sunday, and they say the pastor will preach just like he would any other Sunday.

Fire officials tell WAAY 31 the cause of the fire is still undetermined, but they will continue to investigate on Thursday.

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