Congregation of fire ravaged Person Cnty.church vows to rebuild - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Congregation of fire ravaged Person County church vows to rebuild

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A community is coming together to help members of a Person County Church recover from a devastating fire.

The High View Baptist church just outside of Roxboro was destroyed by a massive fire that broke out just after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Although the church was destroyed, the faith and hope of its members remains intact.

"We're going to rebound," said congregation member Bill Oakley. "We're going to come back and come back strong."

Triple Springs may be a community that's spread out, but though the homes in the area  may not be close together, the spirit that binds people to this church is very close.

"We're praying for you," said Pastor Norman Talley of The Union Christian Church of Virgilina.

Speaking to High View's pastor outside the burned church he said, "Anything we can do; any facilities you are welcome to it."

The fire ripped through a church that was built by hand generations ago.

"I just couldn't move," said congregation member Cheryl Overby as she recalled standing in the parking lot watching the church burn.

 "All I could do was stare at the fire as it was taking down my church," she said.

Cheryl Overby pulled out her phone and began to record video of the roaring flames. As she did, emotions ran high.

"There was a lot of crying," she recalled.

Congregation member Bill Oakley was in the church when the evacuation order was given after the lights failed and smoke began showing. As he watched the fire advance from the parking lot, his heat was heavy.

"It was devastating, it sure was," he said.

Buried in the rubble is the grand piano Bill's wife used to play at services.

"She's been playing here since she was 10 and she just cried last night," he said recalling his wife's reaction to the fire.

As the reality of the fire set in on Thursday, sadness was replaced by determination.

"I have no trepidation whatsoever in knowing any need we have will be met," said pastor Rev. Avery Dalton.

"The church is not a building; it's believers in the body of Christ," said Dalton.

The pastor said it may take some time to rebuild this church but with the assistance and sporting of this community, he said it will happen.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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