Demolition at burned Wills Point church begins - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Demolition at burned Wills Point church begins

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

WILLS POINT, TX (KLTV) - Nearly a month after Russell United Methodist Church in Wills Point was set on fire, the burned sanctuary is being torn down. Wednesday, church members gathered to watch as the charred remains were hauled off.

It is one of the first of the burned down churches to demolish what is left of its sanctuary. The wrecking crew said they will not be able to tear down everything in one day. They are taking the tractor and clearing out the inside Wednesday and Thursday they will tear down the outside walls.

The leftover metal is being hauled off and taken to a nearby scrap yard. Bricks from outside walls are still in good shape and the church will be giving them to the City of Wills Point.

Church members say the congregation has pulled together since the fire and it is a bittersweet day.

"I'm here everyday so everyday when you are in a building it becomes part of what you are and you don't realize it until its not there anymore," said Debbie Vaughn, director of the day school and a church member. "So it is emotional in that sense, but we can't dwell on it and we need to pick our selves up and we look forward to something new."

A church administrator said they hope to rebuild the sanctuary within the next year and they hope to have their grand opening on Easter 2011.

The fire at Russell United Methodist Church was ruled arson by ATF investigators. It has not yet been linked to the suspects arrested for the arson of Dover Baptist Church.

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