Church reopens 1 year after arson - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Church reopens 1 year after arson

An East Texas Church celebrated their first service Sunday in their new church, a year after arsonists burned down their old one.

Tyland Baptist Church was one of the first churches burned by arsonists, Daniel McAllister and Jason Bourque, in January 2010.

The 11,000 square foot church took a total of 18 months to rebuild.

Pastor David Mahfood says the congregation has become very united since the church burning.

"It's such a wonderful feeling to be back home, though we know he has walked with us every day since we've been out of the building he's walked with us and brought us back home," said Edan Stovall, church member.

Edna Stovall has been with the church for the last 45 years, and says the bond between the members has only strengthened since the fire.

"I think anytime you walk thru something like that you bond together and I've watched that through our members the oneness the unity it's just been wonderful," said Stovall.

Tyland Baptist Church was one of the first churches burned by arsonists, Daniel McAllister and Jason Bourque, in January 2010

Pastor David Mahfood says since the attack, the church underwent several challenges to get back on their feet.

"We were obviously we were displaced from our building, we didn't have a building and Willowbrook Church was kind enough to take us in, we didn't have any possessions so we  had to start over from scratch assembling everything that we had lost in the fire," said Pastor David Mahfood, Tyland Baptist Church.

So Mahfood said he along with the other church members are excited to have their own church again.

"It feels wonderful we feel like we're at home, but there's a weird feeling that we've never quite left," said Mahfood.

Jason Bourque and Daniel McAllister were each given multiple life sentences for the church arsons.

Church officials say this is the second time Tyland has had to rebuild from a fire.

The last time was in 1982 and that fire was caused by a faulty heater valve.

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