Gilfield Baptist Church building destroyed by fire

Dewayne Charleston surveys the damage as Gilfield Baptist Church lies in ruins following a fire Tuesday night that burned into the early hours of Wednesday morning. “It may look bad right now, but after a while, God is going to work it out," Charleston said of the circumstances that have befallen the congregation.

Dewayne Charleston surveys the damage as Gilfield Baptist Church lies in ruins following a fire Tuesday night that burned into the early hours of Wednesday morning. “It may look bad right now, but after a while, God is going to work it out,” Charleston said of the circumstances that have befallen the congregation.

OLD SPRINGHILL — “God is still able,” Dewayne Charleston said calmly as he stood just a few feet from the still smoking rubble of the building that used to house the Gilfield Baptist Church.

The church caught fire Tuesday evening with a call going out to the Old Springhill Volunteer Fire Department about 7:45 p.m.

(Photo taken from Facebook)

(Photo taken from Facebook)

“As far as what started it and how it started, we’re looking into that,” Chris Foster, Old Springhill VFD chief, said. “Being a church, we went ahead and called in the state fire marshall.”

The Old Springhill VFD found assistance in fighting the blaze from Marengo Rescue and the Demopolis Fire Department. Still, crews battled the flames for nearly five hours before squelching the inferno early Wednesday morning.

“With it being brick walls, you couldn’t send anybody in with the possibility of the walls caving in,” Foster explained of the particular difficulty that accompanied fighting the church fire.

“We were supposed to have Bible study here tonight, but God is still able,” Charleston, who has preached for the Gilfield congregation for some 13 months, said. “We’re just going to continue to trust on Him, to trust in Him and knowing that God is going to make a way.”

Gilfield Baptist claims some 70 members. Charleston’s sentiments resonated with other members on the scene Wednesday morning as they expressed their sentiments plainly.

“The building is gone, but the church is still here,” one member said.

“Good membership. We were growing membership. God saw fit for this to happen, but we’re thankful that nobody was hurt,” Charleston offered.

As for what Sunday holds, Charleston is already confident he knows that answer to that question.

“We’re going to have church,” he said. “We’re going to have church somewhere even if we have to do it out here in the parking lot. We’re going to have church because this is just a building. When you have it in your heart, church has got to go on. Services have got to go on. Beyond the circumstances, whatever happens here, God is still good. He gave us life. We’re still here.”

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