Thursday, June 13, 2019
The fire at Windsor Heights Baptist Church burned for several hours on Thursday. (Source: Augusta Fire/EMA)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Crews worked into the afternoon Thursday to extinguish a blaze at a church on Bullock Avenue.
The fire started at Windsor Heights Baptist Church just before noon.
Crews were battling the fire from both the air and the ground to get it under control. Homes nearby were not in danger throughout the burn.
But the steeple at the old church remains standing -- a sign of relief for Rev. Billy Lassiter.
"It's been there a long time," Lassiter said.
Lassiter pastored at the church for 13 years before leaving, then returning about six to eight months ago. He’s seen 13 years of sermons, baptisms, and weddings.
"I saw a group of children from this neighborhood grow up, get married, go about their lives," Lassiter said.
Today, it feels like he's attending a funeral. Not for his church, though. Just for his church's building.
"If we need to stay here and rebuild, that's what we'll do," Lassiter said. "We don't know yet, but we will do whatever God leads us to do."
In the end, Lassiter says the building isn't what made his church -- a church. It's another kind of building, the kind of building that happened inside the building.
"More than anything else, we built lives. And that's the wonder of it all. Building lives," Lassiter said.
Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion after battling the blaze.
A cause has not yet been determined.
Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.