LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -After hearing the devastating news that left a family of four without a home due to a fire, Pastor Marquist Taylor of Free People Church immediately took action.
"It’s our heart, it’s our passion we really believe that when we serve others we touch the hearts of God, so this is all about serving this isn’t about nothing else but us serving and let’s help this family get back to where they need to be,” said Taylor.
Pastor Taylor shared the images of the home located at 124 Fred Street on Facebook and within an hour, he received an outpouring of support from community members which lead him to create a Gofundme page for people to donate.
Homeowner Talisa Shepard is very grateful for the church and other organizations that have helped her family, but most of all, that she made it out alive.
“American Red Cross they are also helping me out they are paying for the rooms for me and my husband where we are staying at my kids as well. I’m just very grateful, my class of 08 they’re volunteering to help us out I’m just very grateful right now,” said Shepherd.
According to fire officials, Shepard lit a candle, laid the lighter down on a couch and left the room, safety features on the lighter malfunctioned, which caused the fire.
Even though the Shepard’s home is gone the leadership team at Free People Church is hopeful that more people will join them in helping the Shepard family this holiday season.
"I believe that we can give her back more than what she’s lost and that’s what family is about. It’s the holiday season we don’t want these kids to go without anything, we want them to wake up and have that Christmas experience just like every other kid,” said Taylor.
Officials say the home is a total loss and the family did not have renter’s insurance.
For anyone who would like to make a donation, you may take items such as clothing, shoes, and toiletries to Creta’s Fashion Suite 314 located at 3213 South Medford between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. until December 23rd.
Or you can make a monetary donation to the Gofundme page.