Church Burns, Community Rallies

The community of Bellevue is coming together to help their own. First Baptist Church took a lightning strike Sunday morning. The resulting fire destroyed the steeple and bell tower.

Since the blaze, the town has rallied to help church members through the tough time. "The community has been real supportive and everybody is obviously been like what can we do to help… You can't put words to it, its so wonderful to know that we live in such a community that cares so much about everybody," said Pastor Robert Slayton.

Within hours, the community room was offered for use. Sunday services will be held in the fellowship hall, and the Methodist church has offered to help on Wednesday nights. "I believe it shows the body of Christ working together, that's exactly what Christ would want us to do is to pull together as one and that's what this community has done," said Slayton.

The church has seen tragedy before. In 1906 a tornado tore through the town and leveled the original building. The current one was built in 1908 and is mostly unchanged in more than 100 years. "Obviously we want the building to be put back the way it was," said Slayton.

The historic structure means a lot to the town. "I think it means a lot to the community because its just kind of a standard in the community. We hope to feel like we are a tower of help to the community even when things happen to us."

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6