Stedman, N.C. — Two weeks before Easter, fire destroyed the Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church in the small Cumberland County community of Stedman.
While the sanctuary is gone, the congregation is still worshipping, and on Sunday, it got a special invitation for Easter worship.
South River Community Church in Wade extended the hands of fellowship to Rev. David Taylor and Oak Grove Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church.
The 100-member congregation lost its house of worship and fellowship hall March 16 after an electrical short sparked a fire in the 33-year-old building.
Since then, it has been worshiping in a youth building on the church property that wasn't damaged by the fire.
"It's amazing how people and churches have just come out and offered help and given donations," Taylor said Sunday. "We just thank God."
The South River community also took up a special offering Sunday morning to help Oak Grove rebuild.
"We're believing good things for Oak Grove Church," South River pastor Rev. Lynn McLaurin said.
In the season of renewal, the Oak Grove family is now, more than ever, relying on its faith to get through. Taylor said it could be a while before the sanctuary is rebuilt.
"We believe that out of the ashes, we shall rise again – not defiantly but in God's time," he said. "With God's help, we shall rise again, and we shall continue to worship Him."