- Behind The Scenes
PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. - (WCBI) Church leaders, whose sanctuary was destroyed when lightning apparently struck the steeple on the July 4th are already making plans to rebuild.
Less than 24 hours after the blaze at Zion Baptist Church on Valley Rd in Pontotoc County, the congregation came together to comfort one another.
"Not only were they born here, they were saved in this church they've been a member of this church all their lives. Part of the fellowship at worship. Activities, all of this and now the building is gone but, the building is gone but the church lives on," said Rev. Robert Armstrong, Pastor.
A parishioner saw lightning strike the church's steeple just after 3 p.m Wednesday.
One member of the church surveying the damage Thursday clutched pages of a hymnal, one of only a few things to survive the blaze.
"I believe our people have the faith to know that God didn't allow this to happen just for nothing. And its better for us and we're looking forward to building a new building here and everything," said Rev. Armstrong.
WCBI's Meterologist Will Simmons is quite familiar with this church.
His grandparents Bill and Jean Peeples were married on December 29th,1957 and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there in 2007.
In the midst of sadness, there is optimism. Parishioners say they'll rise up and rebuild.
"You know this church was a lighthouse to the community. And its a, its just sad to see it go. But you know we'll build back and be stronger than ever," said Harville.
"And I was very much hurt. But I said well God has a plan and we're going to work on the plan," added Rev. Armstrong.
In spite of the fire, the church is going ahead with their anniversary celebration.
They will worship under a tent July 14-15..