Local News

Person congregation vows to rebuild after church fire

Posted July 5, 2010 4:57 p.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2010 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Members of a Person County church said Monday that they would rebuild after a weekend fire gutted their sanctuary.

Firefighters were called to Hyco Zion Baptist Church, at 996 Concord Church Road north of Roxboro, at about 5 p.m. Saturday. The fire destroyed the church and fellowship hall, toppling the steeple.

"I've heard of other people's churches going up in flames and all, but you never imagine your own," said John Harrison, a deacon at the church. "It's quite a pill to swallow."

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Person County Sheriff's Office investigated the fire. Although the cause hasn't been determined, authorities said it wasn't suspicious and likely was an electrical fire.

Church members who gathered Monday to survey the damage said there wasn't much they could salvage from the rubble, aside from the gratitude that no one was injured in the fire.

"There's a lot of sentimental value for some people, but there's nothing to do now but pick up the pieces and move forward," said Michelle Thomas, who has attended the church since she was a child.

The church held Sunday services at the nearby National Guard Armory.