CLUTE, Texas – A Brazoria County church is in ashes after a large fire tore through the building, authorities said.
The blaze broke out around 10 a.m. Monday at the Evergreen Baptist Church in Clute near Highland Park Drive and Highland Park Avenue, officials said.
According to the Brazoria County fire marshal, the fire sparked as a worker was doing plumbing work.
Church pastor Anthony Bonner told KPRC 2 repairs were being made to pipes that burst during the February freeze.
“This church has been here since 1870, been through storms and hurricanes and other things that have destroyed it and came back. This will just be another comeback from another physical storm,” Bonner said.
The church celebrated 150 years last October.
On Monday, members mourned as they visited the rubble.
“It’s just everything to me because all of my grandparents, parents, aunts, cousins and uncles were members here,” said Lillie Lunford.
Lunford and her sister Dorothy Bryant are among the oldest members of the Evergreen Baptist Church and the family that founded it.
Bryant lives nearby and saw the tops of the flames from her front porch.
“I knew the church was on fire,” she said.
Pastor Bonner says they hope to rebuild.
“I just see an opportunity out of a tragedy. We know that God is still able and is faithful to us,” he said.
Officials said there were some staff members inside at the time of the fire, but no one was injured.