Pastor of destroyed church also lost home to fire this week

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

GIBSON, Ga. (WRDW) -- Magnolia Baptist Church Pastor Michael Stewart got a call Tuesday night that changed his life.

"I got a call from a deacon in the church who told me the steeple had been blown off. I thought he was pulling my leg," Stewart said.

However, the rubble pile that once was his church isn't even his biggest problem so far this week.

"Monday was kind of an interesting day for me," he said.

Pastor Stewart and his wife, Hilda, were at home on Monday night when her clothes caught on fire after standing too close to a space heater. Stewart was able to put out the fire, remove his wife's burned clothes and get her to the hospital.

"My wife got a burn injury, and on the way to the hospital, a neighbor called and said, 'It looks like your house is on fire and it's going to burn down,'" Stewart said.

While the couple left the home, it appears the clothing was still smoldering and then reignited, starting a fire at the home.

A pile of ashes is the only thing left, but he says his faith remains.

"I sort of got over the tears and braced myself, and the Lord has been good, he's been my strength," Stewart said.

He says, in times like these, he is reminded of the story of Job in the Bible, who lost everything but kept the faith.

"The Lord is good. He is a stronghold in the days of trouble, as an old prophet says," he said.

Stewart's wife is said to be in good condition.

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