Fire strikes the heart of a Mount Airy church community

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- A Mount Airy church was destroyed by a fire Monday evening.

The fire happened at Faith Baptist Church, located at 125 Faith Baptist Church Way, in the Toast community of Mount Airy.

Video posted to Facebook by Nicole Calhoun showed flames burning through the roof of the church.

More than a dozen departments responded to the fire, and worked for hours to get the flames under control.

Surry County's Director of Emergency Management said no injuries were reported, and no one was inside the church when the fire started. He said the fire started at the back of the church.

Pastor Randy Edwards said Monday that while they are devastated, his church is so much more than a building.

"I got really sick to my stomach. I don’t think there’s really any words to tell how I feel, I’ve been here 35 years this is my life‘s work," he said. "But it’s not that building, it's the people that were in that building”

Members of the church's congregation gathered at a nearby elementary school and watched crews work for several hours.

“My kids have been saved here, (and) my grandson. My daughter got married here, we got married here and it’s really disheartening to us,” said Lonnie Bryant.

The cause of fire is still under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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