Local church deals with aftermath of fire, makes changes

On+Sunday%2C+March+8%2C+First+Baptist+Church%27s+parking+lot+was+filled+with+firetrucks+and+vehicles+helping+to+put+out+the+fire.+

Texarkana Gazette

On Sunday, March 8, First Baptist Church’s parking lot was filled with firetrucks and vehicles helping to put out the fire.

Over the weekend, First Baptist Church of Texarkana had an unexpected fire. The blaze occurred on Sunday, March 8, after church services had ended. 

Even though the fire didn’t occur near the main worship area, Pastor Shreve has stated that Sunday worship will go on in a different location because of damage.

“We are going to meet this Sunday and the following for service in the gym and atrium at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. until we can use the worship center again.” Shreve said. “That may be a couple months down the road.”

The Easter services will take place at the Sullivan Center, next to Texas High School.

“[The Sullivan Center] seats about a thousand people,” Pastor Shreve’s wife Debbie said on the church’s Facebook. “We will hold four different services for Easter, one on Saturday night, and three on Sunday morning.”

The fire focused in the control room and spread to the east wing of the church. The control room experienced a significant amount of damage and will be difficult to restore.

“The church is still standing,” Pastor Jeff Shreve said in an interview. “And we are excited about that. The damage is pretty expansive with the smoke and the soot.”

The fire was put out within an hour after it started, and three firefighters were taken to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation. Two church employees were also in the building when the fire happened, but they are unharmed.