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Displaced by Arson, Congregation Vows Strength


One of the churches destroyed by fire last week was the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Boligee, Alabama. The Reverend James Posey is pastor there. He rides the circuit between Morning Star and another nearby congregation, Cedar Grove Baptist Church. He presided over services at Cedar Grove this morning. We asked Rev. Posey to share with us the message of his sermon.

Reverend JAMES POSEY (Pastor, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church): That we must stick together in unity and we must commit to rebuilding. And what I drew out of my sermon too was the time that Moses saw this burning bush and he had said that he would walk over and see this sight. The bush was burning but it wasn't being consumed and this was to get Moses attention. He heard this voice saying, Moses take your shoes off. The ground that you are walking on is holy ground. Okay, I tied that into the fact that the perpetrator didn't realize that he was on holy ground. That God was watching him. I said that a sad thing is I really feel bad for them because they don't know the God that I serve. They can't stop the church. The church will be victorious. You can't put God's church out of business. You can burn the structure down but the church is in the hearts of the people.

ELLIOTT: Was this a difficult sermon to give today, given what happened to your church?

Rev. POSEY: No, not really. Preachers normally prepare to when other people are breaking down. We have to be strong. I couldn't help but shed tears when I saw the church go up in flames you know but that was for a period and then that was over with. I couldn't keep boo hooing. If the member sees me boo hooing that what strength do they draw? I had some tears run down my cheek but that was over with in a few minutes.

ELLIOTT: Reverend James Posey thank you for your time today.

Rev. POSEY: Yes.

ELLIOTT: Reverend Posey's Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church was one of ten burned down in recent days in Alabama. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.