Church Gutted by Fire Celebrates New Beginning

By Julie Tam
|  Monday, Apr 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:02 AM CDT
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Church Gutted by Fire Celebrates New Beginning

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Church Gutted by Fire Celebrates New Beginning

A church in Mesquite finally has a new building to call home, after fire gutted the old building more than two years ago. But one important part of the congregation is missing.
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A church in Mesquite finally has a new building to call home, after fire gutted the old building more than two years ago. But one important part of the congregation is missing.

Members arrived one car after another, one family after another to reunite with their church family.

"This is where we worshiped for so many years on this corner," Mike Lampkin, chairman of deacons at Calvary First Baptist on Peach Tree Road, said. The congregation called the location home for more than 50 years until fire engulfed it in October 2007.

"It was a sad day, and we stood out here because the flames went on for a long time," Alex Navarrette, Music and Education Minister, said. "And people were just outside here crying for the longest time."

"And we're going to pick up and move to another area of mesquite. Hope to minister to that area as well," Lampkin said.

But even amid the excitement was a bit of sadness on the windy Sunday morning. The congregation of more than a hundred is moving on without its long-time pastor, Mac Costlow. He died New Year's Day of a heart attack.

It's been especially tough on his daughter, as she enters the new building. "This was his work, and his work on earth was done. And now he's with God," Christi Baker said.

Rebuilding has not been easy and full of roadblocks. In fact, the church did not get chairs until a few days ago, and members were prepared to worship in lawn chairs.

"A little bittersweet, wishing he could be here," Baker said.

"He would be beaming. He would be beaming," Lampkin said of his former pastor. "I believe that entirely." The new church is on Eastglen Boulevard. Members are fixing up the old building to put it up for sale. Back in 1984, a tornado tore it up, but the congregation was able to rebuild the next year.

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