Fire erupts at Cullman County church

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. -- Crews responded to a fire that caused extensive damage at a church in Cullman County Tuesday night. It happened at Warrior Creek Baptist Church on County Road 1830, south of Arab.

A church member tells us all the buildings are heavily damaged or destroyed.  That same member said, "The building may be destroyed but the Church is strong because the Church is not just a building."

There's no word at this time on how or where the fire started. A deacon of the church said they first noticed something was wrong when another deacon's son drove by on his 4-wheeler and saw the flames.

Church members and the community were at the scene Wednesday, many in shock that the building is now gone.  Hours and hours later smoke still filled the air. Fire crews put out hot spots.

The fire blazed through Warrior Creek Baptist Church, burning it to the ground. Daylight revealed the destruction. " I knew I wanted to come and see for myself but I was kind of scared to," said church member Kileigh Bagwell. "I was scared of how it was going to feel to come and see what it looked like."

The fire came just months after they expanded the church and added more Sunday school rooms.  "I mean they had just got done laying the new carpet," said Bagwell.

The deacon says there was no fire hydrant nearby and the firefighters had to transport the water. He says they worked for over six hours, but it was too late.

"Many of us have gotten saved here we've gotten married here," said Bagwell. "But it's just a building and the Lord provides for us anyways."

Even now, through this hardship, she says the church's doors are open. "I know it might not look like a good place to be right now, but we sure would love having you over. If you feel like there's something that you need to do to help us, just please pray for us."

Bagwell says she truly believes there is a reason for everything. "If there's only one small thing that comes out of this that's good, it will be all worth it for all of us."

The deacon says other churches have offered their facilities for their services, but they hope to hold this coming Sunday's service right here outside.