For members of one Brunswick County church, Sunday was a day to rejoice. After a lightning strike set the church on fire last week, the congregation pulled together to find a new home for their day of worship. “Shock, of course shock,” said Saint Mary Baptist Church Deacon John Galloway. It was the only way members of Saint Mary Baptist Church in Winnabow could describe their reaction when they heard their church's steeple was struck by lighting Thursday. The strike caused a fire to burn and destroy the front of the church, but they believe everything happens for a reason. The Saint Mary flock had just three days to find a new location for their Sunday services. Luckily, they found a temporary home just across Highway 17 at a community building, and the service did not miss a beat. Saint Mary Baptist Church member Traci Bullock said, “It shows the love that we have that we, in spite of tragedy, continue to go on and be blessed by the Lord in service.” While they felt blest to find a new home, members said it did not matter if the congregation had a roof over their heads. “That's a building, buildings can be replaced. You can stand out here in this yard and have church because it's in the people's heart,” Galloway said. Bullock added, “It's not about a brick, it's not about pavement, it's about what he teaches in his word and us continuing to put it in our hearts.” At Sunday's service the collection plate overflowed with donations; part of the effort to rebuild their church bigger and better than before. “It's not hard to join together and ban together, especially when you're doing things out of love,” Bullock said. A love that could be felt at Sunday's service. Saint Mary will use the community building at Town Creek Park until they are able to return to the church. No date has been set for when that will be.
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