Church destroyed by fire - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Church destroyed by fire

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Just before seven Saturday night fire crews were called to Tyland Baptist Church on Silver Creek Drive in Tyler.

Pastor David Mahfood has served the church for three years.

"I'm sad for them," he said. "I truly am. Some of these folks have been here a long time and it's just heart-breaking to see them lose the place that we love."

For church member Juanita Wiggins seeing the church engulfed was too much.

"When I drove up, I just couldn't help it," she said. "I just fell apart ‘cause this is home, this is my spiritual home."

As firefighter worked to douse the flames, members of the congregation watched on thinking of better times.

"The church is a beautiful church," said Wiggins. "Oh, it was beautiful! Everybody loved to have weddings in it because it was so pretty."

This is the second time fire has struck Tyland Baptist Church. In January 1982 an electrical issue forced them to rebuild. It is a time 45-year member Connie Luther remembers well.

"It's bad when you see a situation like this, but what's even worst is the memories of the last fire that we had," she said.

Despite this loss Pastor Mahfood says his flock is ready for whatever comes next.

"This is a church building and that the church is the people and this can be rebuilt and we can move on and God has a purpose in this and right now all we need to do is come together."

Church members plan to meet Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at a nearby Methodist church.

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