Commemorating February 7th

Written by admin on February 15th, 2008

This past Thursday several persons gathered for a candlelight vigil at the Galilee Baptist Church in Panola, Alabama. The common bond was remembering about the tragedy of two years ago when four rural churches here in West Alabama were set on fire. Two burned to the ground and a third was badly damaged. We talked about what we had learned from God during the past two years.

Pastor Hawkins of Dancy Baptist Church was there and so was Pastor Foy of Spring Valley. Pastor Little of Galilee led the service. Morning Star which will host a dedication of its new building on February 24th, was not represented.

We spoke about our anger, our fear, our hurt, and our bewilderment on the 7th of February, 2006. We also spoke of the affirmation of the teaching of Jesus about forgiving enemies, even in that very difficult time.

The churches have repaired or new and larger facilities in three cases. New pastors serve two churches. New friendships have been forged. Help has come from all around. Many Christian friends have come and helped with the rebuilding. The arsonists are now in prison. The churches pray for them and rejoice about spiritual victories in the lives of the boys. All look forward to a time when the arsonists can come to the churches, worship, be publicly forgiven and express their sorrow.

The churches have been affirmed. Old racial barriers have been bridged. Vision and hopes for the future fuel the congregations. A repeated insight that God has brought good from evil is roundly affirmed. Much work lays before each of the congregations. But they are confident that the God who brought them through this tragedy will be with them in the years to come, whatever comes.


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