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Local Church Destroyed in the Wake of Intense Storms

First United Methodist Church on fire | Image by Fox 4 KDFW
First United Methodist Church on fire | Image by Fox 4 KDFW

Flames destroyed a historical church on Tuesday following severe storms across North Texas.

In the early hours of May 28, firefighters from the Royse City Fire Department received word that the First United Methodist Church was engulfed in flames. Shortly after the 11 a.m. hour, the crew was dispatched to North Josephine Street, according to Fox 4 KDFW.

When the crew arrived, the church’s attic was already in flames. With the help of neighboring city departments, firefighters contained the fire to the church’s main building. Wesley Hall and the food pantry buildings were not impacted, as reported by WFAA.

First United Methodist Church of Royse City is a 120-year-old building with significant meaning to the community. According to the Historical Marker Database, it was erected in 1904 on property belonging to the McCasland family and has served as a prominent church in the community ever since. The church’s founding dates back to 1887, before the church building was constructed.

Michael Baley, a congregant at the church, explained the meaning of the landmark to him and his family. “My mom was christened and baptized here, along with her twin brother and sister,” he told NBC 5 DFW. “My brother and I were both christened and baptized here. We were married here with our wives.”

Senior pastor Chris Everson expressed gratitude that no one was in the building during the fire. Despite the lack of a gathering location, he plans to hold service on Sunday. “Even with the loss of the sanctuary, God is still here,” Everson commented to NBC 5.

While the cause of the fire has not been confirmed, the fire chief said it likely started due to lightning in the area, according to NBC 5.

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