After collapse, members without church

May 18, 2008 4:29:13 PM PDT
A historic church was demolished after it started falling apart. Now, people who worshipped there are trying to keep the congregation together.This is the first Sunday in years that there hasn't been a service for the Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church congregation.

This Sunday passed like so many in Houston's old Fourth Ward. The faithful filled the pews at St. James United Methodist Church, but just blocks away, there's a sad difference at Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. The building is in ruins from being demolished after part of it collapsed on Friday.

"It is history, it is a part of our history, personal history because of our cousin," said St. James Church Member Irene Eaton.

Eaton is a St. James Church member, but her relatives attended Mt. Carmel years ago. It's the same for Helen Ingram.

"Not only my family, but a lot of people around here that's been in Fourth Ward for a good while," she told us. "Everything changes and of course, we knew it would get old. We were hoping they would repair before it fell down."

Mt Carmel members hadn't been able to meet at the church for awhile, and some neighbors complained the church had become a haven for transients. Still no one wanted to see it end this way.

"When we have a church that's been demolished, we miss that church, we miss that church, but still we can say that God is still there," Ingram said.

And if that's true, there's always hope.

"I believe that the church will be rebuilt," Ingram said.

Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church had served the area for 68 years. People have been collecting the bricks of the church hoping to someday rebuild it.

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