Church that met at old Bargain Barn says this is a "set up for a step up"
Photo of Saturday night's blaze from Michael Womack/Footprints Fotography.
The pastor and a praise team member of the Gospel Outreach Church, which met in the old Bargain Barn, were watching fire investigators Monday, saying that they consider the destruction “a set up for a step up.”
The pair had already looked through rubble themselves, salvaging one guitar and one Bible, which had been stored in an old vault on the premises after a Saturday night blaze destroyed the building that once housed the famous sporting good store, the Bargain Barn, before it moved to the four-lane.
Above right, the Bible saved from a vault in the old sporting goods building shows scorched pages but was still readable. Photo/Pickens Progress
The church had rented the building for a little over a year before the fire.
Praise team member T. Maxwell Sandlin said members who provided music at the church of around 200 members had lost their personal instruments. Sandlin had gone by to see if even a tambourine had been spared the intense flames, finding the guitar and Bible as the only things to reclaim.
Pastor Jerry Stewart said it was a very big loss. The church had celebrated one year in existence on January 5, all of which was at the old Highway 5 South location.
“It was a total loss,” Stewart said. “We lost everything we had since starting a year ago. We lost the chairs. We lost the sound system. We lost everything in the kids area and kitchen.”
On Sunday, the church met at the Chamber of Commerce building with 189 members there and visitors. That building, however, is too small and lacked space to separate a children’s area so the future plans are uncertain.
“We don’t know what will happen in the future. We just know that it will be forward. We are set up for a step up,” said the pastor as he looked over the rubble.
Pastor Stewart expressed thanks for all the fire crews and elected officials and other area churches who have already offered help.
“In Pickens County and Jasper you are blessed to have such a [caring] quality,” he said. “You can tell it is in the fabric of the community.”
Stewart said as of Monday, they weren’t sure where they would be meeting next Sunday. For up-to-date information on the church’s plans follow their Facebook page at gospeloutreachchurchofnorthgeorgia.