Services continue at Tishomingo church after arson

Published: May. 22, 2016 at 10:35 PM CDT
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TISHOMINGO, Okla., (KXII) -- Just two days after an arson fire destroyed part of a Texoma church, the congregation gathered for their morning service as usual.

Hymns,and fellowship and worship were featured at another Sunday morning service at Tishomingo's First Baptist Church.

But it's the first service since two men allegedly set fire to part of the church early Friday morning.

"It could have been a lot worse," said church member Joe Caskey. "And we're just thankful that obviously no one was injuries or hurt."

On Friday, two men admitted to setting ablaze the church's children areas and office because they were bored. But come Sunday morning, the focus was not on the fire but their faith.

"We've tried to hit the ground running," said Pastor Luke Holmes.

Part of moving forward was continuing with a sermon series preaching about the Beattitudes and forgiveness.

"It's real easy to point the finger at other people but can be reminded that we're all guilty before God," Holmes said. "We ought to be thankful he's forgiven us. And that others are deserving of forgiveness too."

Those who attend the First Baptist Church in Tishomingo say that the fire has only rekindled their faith allowing folks them to put life in perspective for what matters most.

"We can dwell on a lot of things, but I think the number one thing I remember [the pastor] saying was we need to forgive," Caskey said. "Forgive these young men as Christians and just move on with our lives."

"I just want them to know that God loves them," said Holmes. "And God has a plan for them for their any mistakes that they've made are not too many that they cannot be overcome by God."

Born and raised in Tishomingo Joe Caskey has attended this church all his life. Despite what's happened, he looks forward to what's next.

"We'll move past it," said Caskey. "We'll rebuild and we'll be better for it."