Altha church community faces two tragedies
“My heart just went out through my chest because I knew the church has burnt down like a month ago,”
ALTHA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - About a month ago, the Page Pond Assembly of God church was destroyed by fire.
Investigators say it was arson. The building is now being bulldozed. Then, Sunday morning, another tragedy. the parsonage where the pastor lives went up in flames. Church members say its hard to believe.
“My heart just went out through my chest because I knew the church has burnt down like a month ago,” said Stephen Melvin, a community member.
Melvin has lifelong memories in those church walls.
“I had such an emotional tie to it because my granddad started the church back in the 40′s and finished the parsonage in the 50′s,” said Melvin. “It was a living part of me. I grew up in the church and I was just heartsick when it happened.”
Juanita Mathis says she’s been going to this church for most of her life.
“It’s very hard because i grew up loving the church there was so much love in it,” said Juanita Mathis, a church member.
Calhoun County sheriff’s office tells us the fire started before 11:30 Sunday morning.
“We were in church, and someone come in a told us the personage was on fire,” said Mathis.
Mathis says they went outside when they heard the news.
“I couldn’t imagine that happening. that was our old church, but it was like home to me,” said Mathis.
Melvin says Altha is a small community and most everyone knows each other.
“I was very distraught about what happened to the church and church parsonage,” said Melvin.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause. The good news is no one was hurt in the fire.
Members in this small community say they’re relying on their faith to get them through this.
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