UDPATE 11/1/12 @ 4:30 p.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A fire is bringing a church congregation together.
The cause of the fire at the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Sissonville is still unknown, but church officials think there was a power surge when it was restored to the building, Wednesday night.
While the building suffered a lot of damage, Deacon Ronald Holmes said he doesn’t want folks to feel bad for this congregation. He said it’s their faith and prayers that’ll help them bounce back.
"It was heartbreaking,” Holmes said. “Honestly. It's heartbreaking to see this."
What’s left of the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Sissonville is hard to take in. This church was built in 1942 and in 71 years has made it’s mark on the community.
"God has just blessed us but even with all of this he'll still take care of us," he said.
Burnt pews, broken windows and holes in the ceiling. Thousands of dollars in damage left behind.
"It is pitiful,” said Perry Harrison, church member. “I tell you it's awful."
"I say the Devil's done his work to us," said Garland Thaxton, church member.
Thaxton’s been coming to Elizabeth Baptist for seven years.
"The devil must of came in and had something to do with it to upset this church because the spirit's always high in this church," he said.
The church has about 50 members, some of which have been there since it opened its doors more than a half a century ago.
"I've been coming here several years and it's the finest church I've ever been in," Harrison said.
It’s impact on the community’s been huge. Members said they’re always willing to help each other in times of need.
"If someone needs their electric bill, gas bill paid, they pay it,” Thaxton said. “Or needs any food or clothes they try to make up collections and help the poor."
Now this church is the one in need, but Holmes said it’s their faith that’ll get them through it.
"The Lord said he'd never leave us and he'll never forsake us,” Holmes said. “So we'll be back."
Holmes said he’s hoping they’ll be able to rebuild the church in the same spot. Sunday services will have to be held in the activity building across the street until they’re able to fix the church.
Church officials think the fire started near the pulpit and may have involved the sound system but it remains under investigation.
The church is along Wolf Pen Drive, which is near Sissonville.
The fire was reported just after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
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