Lightning strike burns down church

It’s a second home for a lot of us – your place of worship. Tragedy struck one local congregation, burning their church building to the ground.

Investigators believe a lightning strike caused a church to go up in flames early Monday morning. Now members of Mount Pleasant Methodist Church in Dresden, Tennessee, are trying figure out where to go or what to do next about the loss of a building that’s been there for about 70 years.

Church pianist Janice Moore said the building’s been around since 1944 but their church was established in 1865.

“You think that was our church, our home, but it’s just a building, and we have to realize that God is working through the people,” Moore said.

She said people who attend the church are like family.

“After services everybody just kind of stands around and talks about their week, it’s just so different from a big city church you know,” Moore said.

Moore said their membership is small but strong.

“I feel like we’ll stay united and go somewhere together, maybe until we decide if we’re going to rebuild,” Moore said.

Just feet away in the same parking lot there’s another church offering to share their space. Pastor Larry Clark at West Union Baptist Missionary Church is inviting them in.

“Everybody deserves a place of worship. Some people get all involved because of the sign; we’re Baptist, they‘re Methodist. That really doesn’t hold a lot for me, our folks,” Clark said.

He said it could’ve easily been them.

“Just in a matter of minutes it’s gone, and that makes you think about things —how brief things are, including life,” Clark said.

So, among the ashes, Moore said, their church is finding hope, grateful for area support.

“It’ll take us a while to get over it, but God is working in the people, and we will do it,” Moore said.

Several other churches in the area have also offered to house them. Moore said they’ll be deciding later this week where they plan on holding services somewhere else.

Insurance agents came by Tuesday to look at the damage. The church will decide whether to re-build based on its coverage.

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