LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Church members say Wayside Baptist Tabernacle had a lot of history in its community - history members uncovered following Saturday's fire.
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The original church was built in the 1950s, and the church destroyed in the fire was constructed in the 60s.
Members walked through the rubble, following the fire Saturday morning, trying to cope with what happened. And they say, what they found in the aftermath, is helping them move forward.
In a fire that lit up the night sky, bent metal, and destroyed a church, the only things to survive were two photographs of the Tabernacle's former pastor, Rev. Roger Lackey. The church lost its leader, Lackey, last January. Members honored him with the two photos in the front of the church.
"I just had to cry out loud because I thought it was lost," said Susan Ward, one of the reverend's daughters, after finding the photos. "The first thing my family was broken up about was probably the loss of the pictures."
And, with its pastor watching over it, the church must now rebuild.
"As sad as it is to see this church go, that's not our church," said head deacon Ronnie Rummage. "The people of Wayside Baptist Tabernacle, they are the church. And, our church is still intact."
And, Ward says the church is standing on the messages of Rev. Lackey.
"As he used to say, the Lord giveth, he'll taketh away," said Ward. "We won't be defeated, we'll rebuild. Wayside is going to come back stronger than ever."
Church members say they will have service Sunday morning. A local church is offering part of its building to Wayside members while they decide what to do following the fire.
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