Rallies held for burned churches - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Rallies held for burned churches

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It was a celebration of faith in Tyler, in a show of Christian unity against those who have committed arson at East Texas churches. Through music and prayer, hundreds of people came together in Tyler's Bergfeld Park to show how faith can overcome all obstacles.

"We all have a voice and it could happen to anybody's church, I'm just glad to be part of this prayer today," said Tyler resident Pamela Barnett.

Mayor Barbara Bass and Congressman Louis Gohmert attended, among the many who feel that the Christian community as a whole has been touched by the rash of arsons.

"I've talked to people here who's churches burned and those that haven't burned yet they're still here with an open heart and mind and they want to give," said Catholic supporter Kristina Shockley.

Some, who had their churches burned, were visibly touched by the rally.

"Our Athens campus was burned down, I think its amazing and a testimony to how big God is and that he is not confined to a church building," said Jennifer Carson of Grace Community Church in Athens, one of the churches burned in arson.

"Words don't even describe it, an act of solidarity, fellowship and brotherhood," said David Mahfood, pastor of Tyland Baptist Church in Tyler.

They prayed for the effected churches, for the firefighters and investigators, and for those responsible for the arsons.

"God loves them and that he can forgive them for this," said Carson.

"Somebody really meant to destroy us but what they're done is made us stronger than we could have conceived possible before," said Mahfood.

Rallies in Athens and Lindale were also held today for their churches that burned. So far, no arrests have been made in any of the fires.

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