One month since church fire, Baxley congregation still picking up pieces

One month since church fire, Baxley congregation still picking up pieces

BAXLEY, Ga. (WTOC) - A church in Baxley marks a bitter milestone Wednesday. One month ago, fire and smoke damaged the First United Methodist Church and its historic sanctuary.

The pastor says the congregation has gotten over the shock of the fire and now as construction in this sanctuary begins, they’re excited over what they’ll have here soon.

Crews have moved carpet and pews and scrub marks show where they cleaned soot from the walls. Pastor Steve Meguiar says they’ve made progress in the 90-year-old sanctuary to clear away smoke and fire damage.

Advent candles left burning after a morning service ignited the altar area and billowed smoke all the way to the pressed tin ceiling. He says they’re dealing with architects and insurance claims as they begin to imagine how the historic space can look.

“There’s always hope and I see a lot of optimism. Our folks are even a little excited about the restoring and rebuilding,” said Meguiar.

They’re holding services in the family life center during the whole ordeal.

He says they’re already planning a giant celebration when the work gets finished this spring.

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