Fire destroys church in Tyler; doesn't dampen members' faith

POSTED: Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 9:32pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 12:42pm

A church in Tyler destroyed by fire.

It happened at the Tyland Baptist Church on Silver Creek Drive in Tyler.

Jeff Tucker of the Tyler Fire Department says authorities arrived on the scene around 6:30 p.m. and within minutes, the entire building was engulfed in flames.

Members of the congregation say, it's hard to swallow, but it's not the first time they've had to deal with hard times.

"We has a fire back in the early 80's and lost everything, but we re-established ourselves up till last night," said Connie Luthers, a member since 1964.

Church pastor David Mahfood says, they may have lost the building, but not their faith.

Not only have Tyler fire investigators been trying to solve the mystery, federal and state agencies have joined in to help investigate what they call a suspicious trend that's been happening lately.

"We have strength of God," he said. "It's tough and we're humans and were emotional and its going to be a challenge no doubt about it but we know who our God is."

This fire joins 5 other church fires in East Texas since the beginning of the year.

Three churches in Athens, one in Canton and one in Martins Mill were all found to be caused by arson.

Investigators also say, they haven't ruled out the idea that these church fires may be lined.

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