Surry Emergency Services pinpoints cause of Mount Airy church fire

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- The members of Faith Baptist Church – many of whom watched their building burn to the ground Monday evening – will be worshipping in a different building on Sunday.

"We're the church,” said Susan Reynolds, who’s been a member of the church since 1974. “This is just a building."

Investigators say the fire was caused by a failure in an electrical breaker. Flames fully engulfed the building as dozens of fire departments spent hours working to put out the flames.

"God didn't have [anything] to do with this church burning down,” said Dennis Payne, a deacon at the church. “That was the devil's doings."

Payne remembered the church going up, with some members having a hand in the construction, before it officially opened in 1997.

"I watched it from day-to-day as it was being built and last night was a heartbreaker as I stood over here and watched it come down by fire,” he said.

On Tuesday, members came and went, gathering keepsakes to remember the building by. Some were seen leaving with charred pages from which they once read.

"It's just indescribable,” Reynolds said. “I can't express the way I feel."

Others reflected on memories both good and bad inside the building.

"My wife's funeral was here three years ago,” Payne said.

Very little survived the fire. However, Bibles were encapsulated in the corners of the building, in the foundation, when it was built.

“My son and my husband put the Bible in this corner over here in the back,” Reynolds demonstrated, pointing to the back corner of the church where the fire started.

Church Pastor Randy Edwards says they plan to hold Sunday’s services in the gym behind the charred building. He added that the church has insurance, but he’s not sure it will cover the full cost it would require to rebuild.

"We'll keep going,” Reynolds said. “We're just [going to] get stronger and stronger."​

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