The smoke was so thick you couldn't see the church. And while the verse out front was uplifting, for those behind the barricades, there was nothing but sadness.
"It's real sad, hurts your heart," said Minister Bob Reynolds. He lost a lifetime of work. "Every sermon outline that I've preached for 50 some odd years," he said.
Hugs were as plentiful as the water poured on the blaze. "I never dreamed I'd be out here watching my church burn," said Deborah Graham. She's worked at the church for 20 years, coordinating Sunday school, attending her daughter's wedding. The loss to her? "My home, my home away from home. I probably lived here more than I did at home," she said.
It started around 3:30. "We saw the smoke right there in the hallway," said employee Sherry Hester. With only four people in the church, everyone escaped safely. The cause? Still unknown. Engines from Levelland and Meadow helped Brownfield battle for three hours to get the inferno under control. "We're probably looking in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 firefighters," said Levelland Chief Marvin Brewer.
As with any fire the true loss is difficult to quantify. With a church that's made even harder. A place of worship since 1947, many of the congregation have turned to one of their own for reassurance, and found fitting solace in Minister Bob Reynolds. "You know, I would say just like I do to people when there's a death; that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."