ZION, Miss. (WTVA) — The members of Zion Baptist Church were planning to celebrate the church's 175th anniversary next weekend.
But no one was in the mood to celebrate after finding out the church lost its sanctuary in a July 4 fire.
"It's just sickening to see this happen to our community," said church member Mike Cox.
"I was speechless and started crying," said church member Patricia Harlow.
A fire chief said it appears lightning started the fire.
"There's no way of really knowing," added Furrs Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Paul. "We had a bad storm come through here."
Even though the church sanctuary was destroyed, not everything was lost: The education building was saved. The American flag near the front of the church was still flying. Even something for the anniversary celebration is still in tact.
"A lot of the booklets that they've been working on were saved," said Cox.
No one was hurt in the fire.
The Wednesday evening service had been canceled prior to the fire because of the holiday.
It's unclear what the church will do about services for this Sunday.