Out of the ashes, renewed community - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Out of the ashes, renewed community

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - It didn't take long before the roar of Harley Davidson motorcycles filled the air surrounding the Dover Baptist Church lot, early Saturday morning.

"I firmly believe God can turn all things to good, and that's what he's doing, here," said Joe Rhodes.  

Rhodes was one of dozens of volunteers with the Christian Motorcycle Association who rolled onto the lot, prepared to put their hammers and chisels to work

The bikers joined members of Dover and Community Christian Fellowship Church of Lindale to help clean the burn site.  

The church was targeted by arsonists February 8th.

"It was the most devastating thing I'd ever seen in my life," said Albert Valadez, a member of Dover.

"It's a real blessing to see everybody come together to do this," said Deniese Oland, another Dover member.

"Jesus gave everything for us, so how dare we not give something back," said Lo-Ryder, a member of the Motorcycle Association.

The church stood for nearly 150 years. 

Volunteers spent much of the day, Saturday, chipping away at what's left of the charred bricks.  The plan is to reuse them when the church rebuilds.

"Out of these ashes, we're getting a huge blessing," said Valadez.

"We all go to [different] churches, but we're all a part of the same family," said Rhodes.

Volunteers hoped to have the bricks stacked and the entire site debris-free by the end of the day. 

Pastor Roy Devisscher with Community Christian Fellowship Church said the church is already planning a special service and clean-up project for Clear Spring Missionary Baptist Church.

Clear Spring was set on fire the same night Dover burned.

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