SAN ANTONIO - They just lost their historic church that had been their spiritual home for nearly fifty years. But you would never know it from the joyful services held by that East Side congregation Sunday.
Members of the Childress Memorial Church of God in Christ gathered at the convention center, after their church was destroyed by a mysterious fire Friday night.
The sounds inside the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center were anything but sorrowful on Sunday morning. Members of the church may have heavy hearts after a late-night fire burned down their chapel, but their lively services were filled with a spirit of optimism and defiance.
The church has about 500 members; those attending Sunday's service were brought to the convention center by bus, where they echoed the upbeat messages of their church leaders.
Church member Patricia Palmer told us, “We're optimistic, we have joy; it's working for our good. It looks bad but it's good for us.”
Another worshipper, Dawn Sance, said, “We're a strong church, we have a strong leader. God will direct him in the right direction and this too shall pass.”
The building on North Pine Street was first built in 1908, and had been used by the church since 1964. As with all church fires, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been brought in to help find the cause of the blaze.
At the convention center Sunday no one could say where the church will meet in the future, but they're confident they will find a new home.
We checked with the fire department Sunday and we were told there's nothing new on the investigation. They have not linked the fire at the church to a number of other fires on the East Side in recent weeks.