Rising from the ashes this Easter Sunday

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Pastor Carl Samples said Friday, was truly a Good Friday.

"We can go forward...We can rise up from the ashes."

Samples pastors Dover Baptist Church near Lindale. In just a few days, Dover will break ground for their new church building.  In February, fire destroyed the old building--all 3,600 square feet of it.

Recently, hundreds of volunteers worked to salvage bricks from the old exterior to be included in the new, nearly 10,000 sq. ft. building.

"We have one of our members that's cleaned almost 1,400 bricks by himself," said Samples.

Just as Christ rose on the first day of the week, his church will rise again.

Clean-up continues at Clear Spring Baptist Church, just a few miles down the road.  Clear Spring burned the same night Dover caught fire.

Pastor Brandon Owens said members will take some of the old bricks away as mementos.

The fire may have brought their walls down, but in just a few short weeks, new ones will go up in their place.

"It has done nothing but prop us up--[brought] us back together as a community and as a church family," said Owens.

Peter McCook is a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Tyler.  We found him and other members tending to what is left of their Tyler sanctuary.

"Divine love always has met, and always will meet every human need," He said, echoing the words of the Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.

Engineers have ruled the walls of McCook's church strong enough to use in the future project.

The congregation has hired an architect.  They're now searching for a contractor.

Thanks to other East Texas churches, all three churches found temporary meeting places. They all are planning to hold Easter celebrations this Sunday.

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