Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baileyton United Methodist Church Burns; Hope Rises from Ashes

At Baileyton United Methodist Church in Greene County, Tennessee the physical reminder of 100 years of memories was wiped away in a matter of moments. The fire that destroyed the church's main sanctuary is said by a WBIR news report to have been started by a bad furnace.

Many of you will recall that just a short time ago I posted a happier message about Baileyton United Methodist. They were kind enough to hold a clothing drive to help us here at Hope for Healing.Org. We remain grateful for their help.

When we drove to pick up the clothes I couldn't help but be impressed by the loving care the members had taken to preserve the century old building.

Sitting in a historic rural area Baileyton UMC serves as reminder of an era where little white churches dotted postcard perfect landscapes. The landscaped grounds around the little white church were well tended. An inviting picnic area sat off to the side of the driveway next to a children's play area. Although unused at that moment, you could imagine little voices calling out to each other in child's play. In the distance, East Tennessee's Appalachian mountains added poetic splendor on that sunny autum day. All around you God's handiwork beckoned you to sit aside your worries and embrace the peacefulness of the surroundings.

Now, little remains of this little spot of tranquility except a pile of rubble.

Or does it?

Through the faith of the members of Baileyton UMC we are reminded that The Church is more than a building. A church is strenth, compassion and a love for God that is carried through the hearts and minds of its members. It is a mirror that reflects to the world the love of Christ. You can never contain that in building nor destroy it by fire.

As we pray for the members of Baileyton United Methodist Church let us also remember to rejoice for the foundation of faith that will allow them to rebuild and reach out to the world for another 100 years and beyond.

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