Roanoke Rapids Church Severely Damaged by Fire
Posted April 22, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
ROANOKE RAPIDS — Firefighters sifted Thursday through the burned remnants of what once was a large part of a Roanoke Rapids church. Fire destroyed a Sunday school building and part of the sanctuary.
When the fire started, it move swiftly. Church members say while they may have lost much of their building, they will not lose their faith after 20 years in the Harvest Temple Pentecostal Holiness church.
Church member Renee Love was very distraught that she might not be able to be married in her lifelong place of worship.
No members were present when the fire started around midday, so many members left work to help salvage what was spared from smoke and flames. Many of them had helped build the church with their own hands. One man said they would simply do it again.
Amidst the smoke and debris there is hope. Worshipers say the ashes and rubble will soon give way to a new beginning for their church. Deacon Danny Holloway says this is a chance to put their faith into action.
Firefighters say it's still too early for them to know what caused the fire. Investigators spent most of the day trying to gather information. They did say that there is, as yet, no reason to suspect foul play.
The 150-member congregation plans to gather this Sunday in a fellowship hall located behind the burned church.