PHILADELPHIA BAPTIST CHURCH, VACANT FOR DECADES, BURNED IN FIRE

After more than 100 years of existence, the Samantha community is now without one of its signature structures.

The Philadelphia Baptist Church was engulfed in flame after a fire broke out Monday, destroying dozens of acres around the church. Tuesday, the flames came alive again and spread to the church, destroying it.

People who live nearby say the one-room white church was once a thriving place of fellowship and worship, used for gospel singings and picnics, but it hasn’t been used in nearly 50 years.

Marie Miller lives on North Hagler Road, near enough to see the church from her house. But not anymore.

Miller said she’ll miss the view and the peace that seemed to come with it.

“It just took my breath away,” she said. “I went outside and sat on the steps, and I watched it go up in flames. It was a terrible, terrible feeling. ”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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