Local News

Durham Church Suffers String Of Bad Luck

Posted July 19, 2004

— Members of Durham's Peace Missionary Baptist Church were back in their sanctuary and counting their blessings Sunday.

About a week and a half ago, about 70 people got sick after eating catered food at a church picnic.

"Some of them were very sick, but everyone has pretty much pulled through that now," The Rev. W.E. Daye said.

A few days later, lightning struck the church steeple.

"The lightning belongs to the Lord and the church belongs to the Lord, so if he decides to hit whatever belongs to him, I've got no qualms about it at all," Daye said.

The lightning sparked a fire that caused about $350,000 in damage.

"This affords an opportunity for our faith to shine, because we don't put our heads down and we don't say God is after us. We realize that we will have ups and downs just as others will have," church member Elsie Leak said.

"Somebody was saying,'Oh, the Devil is busy, he's really been working on ya'll over at Peace.' and I said, 'The Devil does not own the lightning. If the devil was in charge of the lightning, think about how many churches he would strike before sundown," Daye said.

After the fire, the church held services last Sunday here at Scarborough and Hargett Funeral Home -- where the church started.

"I suppose in going back to the building we actually held our first services, revisiting that, it brought back memories," church member Joe Jones said.

The congregation hopes the fire and the salmonella outbreak will soon be a memory so Peace Baptist can have peace again.

A few years ago, a current from lightning burned the organ at Peace.


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