Historic Honey Grove church destroyed by fire

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

HONEY GROVE, TX -- A Texoma church that has stood for more than 100 years is in ashes. An early morning fire Sunday burned the structure sometime after 5 o'clock. Allison Harris was there as community members mourned the loss of the historic building.

In just hours flames tore down more than a century of memories at Main Street Presbyterian Church in Honey Grove. Church-goers and community members alike stood in the smoke to remember the landmark built in 1902.

"Lots of memories. It's like someone died," Tammi Whitlock said.

Sunday church met at Tammi Whitlock's home for prayers and reminiscing.

"All three of my kids were baptized in this church. I was married in this church. I've been here since I was a little girl, so yeah. But it's personal for all of us," Whitlock said.

Along with the structure went an antique pipe organ and dozens of stained glass windows. The church was approved for state historical markers just weeks ago.

"Stunned. Overwhelmed. A lot of tears. A lot of peoples' lives are in this building," Pastor Ken Sheppared-Mahaffey said.

The pastor says they are trying to preserve any pieces of the church that they can. He plans to use ashes from this fire for Ash Wednesday.

"There's never been a question from the beginning that we will rebuild, probably on this site. Presbyterians have found a way to be in this area since the 1840s and we'll continue to find a way to be here in the future," Pastor Sheppared-Mahaffey said.

"This was a building and yes it holds memories but we will rebuild and we will go on," Whitlock said.

Investigators are still looking into what caused the blaze.


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