Nowata church burns to the ground; minister says they will rebuild

Nowata church burns to the ground; minister says they will rebuild (KTUL)

NOWATA, Okla. (KTUL) -- A community staple in Nowata burned to the ground Friday morning.

Fire officials believe it was an electrical fire that destroyed the Trinity Full Gospel Church.

In pieces, 85 years of memories came crashing down.

"The memories that are there are just hard to let go of," Pastor Connie Wilson said.

This is home for Wilson.

"It is all stuff," she said. "I know that, it is just, I'll be 62 this year. I've grown up in this church."

Wilson's grandparents founded the church in 1933 and it's been passed down for generations.

"Certainly is a family thing," she said.

Wilson's daughter, Amy Reaves was actually at the church when the fire started.

"My kids immediately said something is on fire, something is on fire," Reaves said.

In a matter of minutes, the fire spread rapidly.

"I could see a haze of smoke," Reaves said.

Moments later, the family stood by as their church turned to rubble.

"I am still in shock, it is like a bad dream," Reaves said.

Several fire agencies came to help, but all that is left are the memories.

"This is the only church I've ever been to," Reaves said. "I got married here, my kids were dedicated here, I was dedicated here."

Wilson says she plans to rebuild.

"I don't know where we go from here, but I know he [God] won't forget us and leave us just dangling and he will show us where to go," Wilson said.

Until then, she will hold services at a nearby church.