MT. HOLLY, NC (WJZY) - "We are looking at a different future for us and it is hard emotionally to look at this space," Senior Pastor Kendall Cameron said.
Pastor Cameron stands inside the charred remains of the sanctuary at First Baptist Church in Mt. Holly and thinks back to July 21.
"I was on the family vacation of a lifetime and I received a text that said the church was on fire. My heart just broke," Cameron said.
Sitting in a hotel in Europe with this family huddled together, they watched the fire online for six hours.
"It was heartbreaking to know I couldn't be with my congregation while this was going on," he said.
Once he returned from his trip, Pastor Cameron saw the damage for the first time. It was heartbreaking. Cameron said he needed to find some hope; he found it in two items that were saved during the fire.
"This is a bible my mother bought me when I went to seminary. It is a bible she bought me to use in preaching. It is one I have used many a Sundays throughout the years. It is beloved to me and this congregation." He went on to say, "This is a bible the church bought me when I came here as their pastor eight and a half years ago. You can tell it has a lot of water damage, but it is still something I can use for a long time."
As for when Pastor Cameron will be able to stand in the sanctuary at First Baptist and use those bibles, that has not been determined. He said the church has a two-step outlook.
"We have a fellowship hall building that was built in 2002 and we hope that within the next few weeks or month that we can be back in that building and we will move in there for worship and hold church in that building. Our other two buildings are a long term reality and we wont know for a while structurally what is happening with them," Pastor Cameron said.
One thing is for certain, Pastor Cameron knows his church will continue.
"Our proclamation is we gather here; wherever we are, that is where the church is," he explained.
As of now, the congregation which is growing in numbers, meets every Sunday morning at The Grand Hall in Mt. Holly.