Fire Burns Down Historic Church - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Fire Burns Down Historic Church

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HONEY GROVE, TX--- Sunday is a day that most churchgoers look forward to, but today was a day of sadness and loss for one church in Fannin County. Main Street Presbyterian has been standing in Honey Grove for more than 100 years and now all that remains of the church is ashes.

Reverend Ken Sheppard-MaHaffey is no stranger to talking in public. Every Sunday, he can be found at Main Street Presbyterian sharing his message, but he says what he saw this morning left him speechless.

"It probably took me thirty minutes before I could even talk," SheppardMaHaffey said. "I was overwhelmed. I was crushed"

Firefighters say the church caught fire when lightening struck the building in the five-hundred block of Main Street around 5 a.m. this morning.

"It's gut-wrenching," church member Mary Snell said. "I don't know what to say, you walk up and there's just flames everywhere."

Church members say the historic church is one of a kind and irreplaceable.

"When you stood inside this building and the sun came through those stained glass windows, it would be like whoa," Cindy Baker-Burnett said. "It was just majestic and sparkly. It was a treat just to see that."

The two oldest sections of the building were built in 1901 and 1912 and were soon due for historical recognition. The congregation is even older than the building. They celebrated 150 years in Honey Grove in 2008.

"There are a lot of memories here," Snell said. "My children were baptized here, my son was ordained as an elder here, my husband and I were both ordained as elders here."

Despite today's horrible loss, church members say they plan to move forward.
This morning, church services were held at a nearby home. In the future, members say they plan to relocate to one of two vacant churches until Main Street Presbyterian can be restored.

Sheppard-MaHaffey is looking into setting up a fund at a local bank for donations and
several Texas churches have already reached out to Main Street Presbyterian to help in any way they can.