CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala - People in Cullman County are shocked and saddened. Tuesday night a fire broke out at the Warrior Creek Baptist Church, one of the oldest churches in the county. Law enforcement officials were on the scene all day Wednesday and they haven't been alone.
Members of Warrior Creek Baptist Church have been gathering outside all day. Normally on Wednesdays, they have their midweek service, but that won't be happening, but despite losing their building they say they are still very blessed.
Fire crews responded to flames and smoke, a call Pastor Daryl Ross never fathomed he would receive.
"He said the church is burning down and..." Pastor Ross choked up during our interview. The memory was so overwhelming, he blocked it out
"We jumped up and got ready and...I don't remember much," he said.
But years ago, he answered a different call.
"As the under-shepherd of the flock, it is my job to have enough strength to lead and I'm asking for grace to lead us out of this hole."
He is already sharing that grace with his congregation as they stop by the church. He's reflecting on the fire and feels blessed. None of these people were hurt during the fire.
"If this had happened tonight at 8 o'clock instead of last night at 8 o'clock it would have been a catastrophe because we would have been right there in it. You look up and thank Him."
His phone is ringing again, this time the conversations bring hope. "I've charged it 3 times if not 4 times now trying to keep the battery up."
Churches have offered their sanctuaries as a temporary home for his flock. "There is no way you can out give God and this is His way to show us that you still can't out give Him."
He says no matter what the future holds, just like a phoenix, they too will rise from these ashes.
The church is planning to hold an outdoor Sunday service at their church. Many churches in the area have reached out to help Warrior Creek Baptist Church, but it's too early to tell exactly how the church is going to proceed moving forward.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.