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Fire burns church to the ground

Church goers look at the spot their church once stood before a fire took it out Friday morning.{p}{/p}
Church goers look at the spot their church once stood before a fire took it out Friday morning.

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NASHVILLE, Ark. (KATV) -- A congregation of about 100 people is now without a church after a fire Friday morning wiped out the building.

It happened about 8:30 a.m. at the First Assembly of God in Nashville, Arkansas. But church goers are choosing to see the positives in their hard time: they plan to "bounce back".

"There's a lot of disbelief but at the same time there's a lot of optimism and hope as we're a community of faith. The community here is one of the most amazing I've seen for getting behind the problem," Pastor Terry Goff said.

He and his congregation are holding on to every last ounce of faith as they focus on how they're going to get back up on their feet.

"I'm the adult Sunday school teacher; I had an idea of offering my home for the bible study for Sunday afternoons until we get something permanent," Dawn Humphry added.

What once stood on a hill overlooking Nashville for more than 30 years, dwindles down to rubble in a matter of hours.

Fire crews battled the blaze all day long, but couldn't save the building.

"The attic was fully engulfed," explained Nashville Fire Chief and Marshal Jerry Harwell.

And with a gust of wind, the fire quickly engulfed the entire structure.

Though the fire department doesn't know what caused the fire, they do know it started in the attic just above the sanctuary.

"Everything is a complete and total loss," Goff said.

But the community is extending a helping hand: other Assemblies of God across the United States have already reached out, according to Goff, along with other local churches that have offered up their buildings in the mean time.

"Despite the denominational differences, everyone is really a member of the same church," Dawn said.

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Friday morning's fire isn't the church's first disaster. Three years ago a tornado swept through town, wiping off the building's roof and steeple. But as seen in the past and now once more, the church family of the First Assembly of God truly run on resiliency.

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