Region 8 church rises from the ashes

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - It was just over a year and a half ago, the First Christian Church in Trumann caught fire, severally damaging the building. Now, members are remembering the past, but looking forward to the future.

"The ceiling had fallen in. There were parts of the sheet rock hanging on the rafters, and it was a lot of destruction," says church Pastor Leonard Harp's wife Demetreal Harp.

Since May 2009, church members have been meeting else where, but Sunday entered back into their church home for the first time since the blaze.

The church was designed closely to it's original form, with many memorable pieces like the chandelier and cross saved from the fire. Pastor Leonard Harp says there's definitely no place like home.

"I look at my pulpit and the cross is in front of it, and it was just absolutely...let me quote a commercial, it was indescribably delicious. It was wonderful," says Leonard Harp.

The congregation sang songs and shed tears of Joy. "It was just emotional. Knowing the devastation of it and then what good has coming out of it," says Demetreal Harp.

"Before the was not a bit of instillation. It would cost us 600 -700 dollars just to heat and cool," says Leonard Harp.

But now, everything is up to modern day code, and more economical. While it's been a long road, Harp says it's was a blessing in disguise. "We're thankful, we're blessed, and we're challenged at the same time. We know we got much to do and we are just enjoying being back home," says Leonard Harp.

Pastor Harp feels the challenges they've faced since the blaze has only made the church stronger.

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