San Augustine church rises afresh from ashes

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) –  Nine months ago, fire destroyed the San Augustine First United Methodist Church sanctuary. But Sunday, the congregation celebrated a new beginning. The church's pastor tells KTRE of all the blessings that came from the ashes.

"So glad you're here," said Pastor Sara Barberie to a member. It's the first time in nine months that Barberie has greeted a church member on the historical church steps. Something simple she missed.

"God is in the small things," she said.

But there was nothing small about Sunday's service. "With all these people coming's astonishing," said Barberie.

Pews filled up with countless East Texans, including the men who fought the fire. "We received support beyond our wildest dreams," she said.

What began as a nightmare on Liberty Street, turned into what Barberie calls a lifetime of lessons.

"I learned that patience is a virtue," she said. "I knew that before, but we really learned it this time."

She said she'll never forget the day church members almost lost their "home". "It is dear to this church...their lives are bound up in these bricks, so always be ready for the unexpected," said Barberie.

But she'll also never forget the time after the tragedy that has made this church stronger.

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