POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – This Sunday, Hank Brooks, 90, and his wife Mike, 90, attended Easter service, grateful they had a place to gather – even if it was underneath the basketball hoops of the church gym.
“It means everything in the world,” Hank said.
It was just over a week ago that a wildfire destroyed the main building of the First Baptist Church of Possum Kingdom Lake, leaving little but ashes behind.
Unable to meet there, Pastor Dennis Trammel moved Easter Sunday service to the church’s Family Life Center next door. Church secretary, Bobbie Worsham, says the church lost records dating back 50 years.
Only the communion bible survived the flames without a scratch, after it was rescued by a firefighter who carried it from the blaze.
“It’s heart-breaking. But, then we are reminded, that was just a building,” Worsham said.
It was the same building, though, where children were baptized and couples wed.
It was also the building where two weeks ago Hank and Mike Brooks celebrated their 70th anniversary by renewing their marriage vows.
“When we were married, we were married by the justice of the peace at the Parker County courthouse. And, I thought it was about time we had a wedding,” Hank said.
“Make an honest woman out of me,” laughed Mike. “It was something he wanted to do for me because he loves me.”
Together for 70 years now, the couple knows it’s not the church walls that matter, but the relationships made inside them.
“We have so many friends, so many friends, who tell us they love us,” Mike said.
The couple has no children, and it’s the church community they consider family – a family they know will rebuild.
Pastor Dennis Trammel said the church plans to continue holding services in the gymnasium, for now.