Van Zandt County church burns down - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Van Zandt County church burns down

By Bob Hallmark - email

VAN ZANDT COUNTY (KLTV) - It had been a place of faith for over a hundred years, but it came to an end in a fire on New Years Day.

On New Years morning, the Little Hope Baptist Church on County Road 4106 in Van Zandt County burned to the ground.

Right now, officials believe old wiring sparked the electrical fire that took the church.

"And then as I watched it just burst into flames, the roof did, the church started in 1893 and its been here on the same place on a donated 2 acres for as long as I can remember," says Little Hope pastor Bill Parr.

Within minutes of the blaze, the old structure was gutted, along with everything inside. Every picture, every row of seats, every hymn book.

"A lot of memories in that building , people got married in there , baptized in there," Parr says.

Recognized with a state historic marker, the main church is a total loss, the only thing saved was the nearby auditorium.

"We'll meet in it for the time being if we have to , won't even slow us down we'll do fine, we'll be fine," says Parr.

But Parr is taking the loss with a grain of humor to his congregation.

"I told them that just because the building burned that did not annul their marriage, and the folks that were baptized are still Christians," he jokingly told church members.

Church officials will meet with insurance agents on Tuesday.

Pastor Bob Parr says they'll continue to meet on Sundays, even if its in a tent.

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