Only a cross remained after Balsora Baptist Church in Texas went up in flames.
On Friday, June 17, 2022, contractors working on Balsora Baptist Church in Wise County, Texas, went on their lunch break. When they returned, the building was engulfed in flames. Firefighters tried their best to douse the blaze, but the church—parts of which were more than 100 years old—was completely destroyed.
The only things left behind were debris, charred wreckage— and an unexpected miracle. Fire crews and onlookers were shocked to see something standing tall amongst the smoking rubble: a cross.
“I watched the roof go down,” said the church’s pastor, Sonny Smith, “and as the smoke began to settle, the Cross stood in the smoke.”
Two days after the blaze, church members gathered near the church to sing and pray together. “Many members are in their 70’s and 80's,” said Sonny. “They actually grew up there, were baptized there, had their children baptized there, their parents had their funerals there... My heart went out to them, but [when we saw] that cross standing, it changed the whole mood of those elderly members. They knew God was giving them hope that all was okay.”
The charred cross was placed in the church’s prayer garden, along with Bibles that survived the blaze. “It gave us chills,” said Lanita. “We knew without a doubt that God is going to walk us through. In good times and the bad, He's there!”
Though the cause of the fire is currently unknown, congregants are eager to rebuild. Neighboring churches of various denominations reached out to offer help. Online, people from all over the world— from California to Switzerland— shared their thoughts and prayers for the community.
“Prayers for the congregation,” one user wrote. “I know you are heartbroken, but God will help you rebuild and renew your strength... that Cross is just the new beginning.”