A Millbrook church is picking up the pieces after a Saturday morning fire destroys much of its building. Still, the congregation gathered earlier today for an outside service and members say they're moving forward...
"Saturday night... we wouldve been back in the church in the apartment," Said Bobby Woodfin. He and his wife, Melissa Woodfin own an apartment above Tri City Baptist church in Millbrook, which burned early Saturday morning. They say they lost everything.
Just below their apartment -- bibles, pughs and their church -- all turned into ash. But the couple says it's a miracle they weren't hurt because they weren't home. Woodfin says it's only the second time they've stayed outside their apartment since they've lived there.
"We've lost stuff that we wont be able to replace, but one day when we get to see our god in heaven, it really wont matter. the stuff we lose here, that was his anyway," Said Woodfin.
Members say flames reached up to 30 feet high. Members believe their church is a total loss. While fire marshalls are still investigating how the fire started, members believe it may have been an electrical cause.
Tom Haynes witnessed the fire. He says while the church may be gone the congregation is not.
"We're here you know these people here are the church and that's the family that we have and we didnt lose that and in many ways i feel that we're probably going to be stronger from it," Said Haynes.
Haynes was one of more than 70 people who attended the outside sermon -- lawn chairs and all -- to hear the message behind what's left of the church.
Pastor Tom Woodfin describes what happened as a message of strength and victory against loss. He says he's thankful no one was hurt.
"In the end, we didnt have this when we started we had Jesus. we have at least acreage now and insurance, but we still have Jesus and that's the victory," Said Tom Woodfin.
And it's an experience Bobby Woodfin hopes gives him a chance to minister to others.
"And be able to say, you know, im not just trusting in a God that is on church on some days... I'm trusting in a God that kept me out of a fire," Said Bobby Woodfin.
He hopes to send the message of "beauty for ashes."
Fire marshalls don't expect foul play to be involved with this fire. Service is suspended until next Sunday as church officials look for temporary meeting places until then.
If you'd like to help the Tri City Baptist Church with donations, you can mail them at P.O. Box 674 Millbrook, AL 36054.