Congregation moving forward Jasper First Church Nazarene fire

Congregation moving forward after fire destroys Jasper church

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A framed print that survived the fire. Source: WBRC video A framed print that survived the fire. Source: WBRC video
The congregation has held services in their gym since the fire. Source: WBRC video The congregation has held services in their gym since the fire. Source: WBRC video
JASPER, AL (WBRC) -

It's been nearly three weeks since a lightning strike sparked a fire that devastated the Jasper First Church of the Nazarene.

"You're initial reaction is to go into the building," Pastor Jeremy Pass said. "To unlock the door, to go in and to put it out."

That's what Pass wanted to do the night of Aug. 9, when 90 percent of the church burned. It's still hard but the congregation and Pass are focusing on the positive.

"People still, they drive by and there are still mixed emotions. You still cry, you still get angry. But you look at it and think, "That's a building.' We're alive, God's alive and He's not finished with us," Pass said.

Pass says that they have actually had more families join them after the fire and the congregation is growing.

Before the fire, the congregation had considered an expansion but felt God was telling them to stop. They did and now they're glad. Pass says the church is still examining how they can move forward with rebuilding and possible expanding.

Through it all, the community and other churches have shown steady support. Pass says that soon, it will  be their time to reach out again.

"We have to continue to better ourselves and continue to go forward. And if we're not, we get comfortable. We've been OK and I think the Lord has just shaken us and said, "No, do you're job and let's go.'"

The church also caught fire due to lightning in 1996. The church has continued to hold services in their gymnasium.

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