Services held after church fire

March 9, 2009 9:19:34 AM PDT
Last week a church that's been in northeast Houston for seven decades was ravaged by a devastating fire. Sunday church members got together for the first time for services after the fire. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

"The church that Christ established in the hearts of the man, even though this church is gone, there will be another tabernacle after this one," said Minister Mack Taylor of the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.

To church members, the fire that destroyed their sanctuary is not the end, it is a new beginning. The church was preparing to celebrate seven decades of ministry when the fire broke out.

For 30 years, Fannie Mae Jenkins sang in the choir and raised her children in the church, but Jenkins says she is filled with hope.

"I think about how good God has been to us, which he is still good all the time," she told us.

The congregation is holding its services in a small room in a Harris County Sherriff's Office storefront. The minister led prayers of thanks for the gift of this humble space.

Deacon Robert Curl says one man gave his last $7 when he saw the church had burned.

"We still have to thank God that we are still here and some of us still have jobs," he said.

In yet another act of determination, the congregation plans to hold its 70th anniversary in a tent beside the old church this coming April.

Investigators believe an electrical problem started the fire. At this point, church members say they have no idea when they'll be able to rebuild.

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