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2 Years After Fire, Church Opens Anew in Spring Hope

A Baptist congregation in Nash County has a new home.

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SPRING HOPE, N.C. — A Nash County religious congregation has a new home, two years after a devastating fire.

Not much was left of the Peachtree Baptist Church, near Spring Hope, after the fire. Investigators never did figure out what caused it.

Church members vowed to rebuild at the same spot, and they have.

It's in the voices that sing, the hearts that pray, the light that shines through stained-glass windows. That's how hope springs in Spring Hope.

“Every piece of it is what God has done and blessed us with,” Pastor Eugene Whitehouse said Sunday.

Peachtree was blessed with donations, too, from churches and individuals who wanted the congregation to have a home.

“I think this building is for the glory of the lord in this community,” said church member Beverly Wilson.

Since the fire on June 12, 2005, members have met every Sunday in a crowded Masonic Lodge nearby.

The situation helped hold the congregation together, literally and figuratively, but now they can spread out. The new church is nearly twice as large as the old.

The pews, the pulpit — even the stained glass windows — were donated, and each is dedicated to a loved one.

The only thing that's not new at this church is the sign in front of it. It was the only thing that survived the fire.

The pastor says with the blessings of a new church, comes responsibility.

It is important, Whitehouse said, “that we give back to this community with the same touch of love and care that they gave to us in the building of this church.”

The past will not be forgotten, either. An etching of the first Peachtree Baptist Church in 1920 is in a stained-glass window at one end of the sanctuary. At the other end is a window etching of how the church looked before it burned down. Between them is a church that never lost its hope.

The total cost of construction was about $1.2 million. With insurance and fundraisers, Peachtree Baptist has covered more than a third of the cost.


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