Historic Arkansas church burns in Morrilton; member of 77 years reacts

Local News

MORRILTON, Ark.— A cornerstone in the Morrilton community went up in flames, now all that is left is the memories people had inside.

Morrilton’s Fire Chief says the fire happened at Union Baptist Church around 5:30 Thursday morning and it took crews four hours to put out.

“I’ve seen the ups and downs at Union Baptist and this is a down,” said Helen Tony, a member of the church for the last 77 years.

The building has been around since 1940, however, according to other church members, the church’s last facility burned down in 1937.

“11 Children have gone through that building and gotten baptized; some sung in the choir, all of them were in red circle,” said Tony.

Morrilton Fire says it took 22 men to put out the flames, which they believe started because of an electrical problem.

“It broke my heart, it brought me to tears,” said Reverend Jonathan Hull with Union Baptist Church. “This means everything to me, as well as the members.”

Hull says given the severe damage, they will probably have to demolish the building and rebuild.

“We have hope in the Lord and we will rebound,” said Hull.

Hull says other churches have offered to let them use their building as they figure out their next steps.

He says a claims investigator will go through the church next week to pin-point the exact cause of the fire.

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