The town of Ranger has been caught in the crosshairs of the massive fire at the Eastland complex.
Under the shadow of the burned Second Baptist Church, something beautiful has blossomed.
“That building is gone,” said Wade Berry, pastor of the Second Baptist Church. “It’s something worth mourning. But it’s also a day of celebration.”
Seeds of Faith fill an empty lot, proving that Ranger City is strong.
The song’s frontman Wendy Rodgers came up with the idea of holding a lawn chair on Sunday.
“You may have lost all your stuff, but you haven’t lost everything because you still have the people who love you,” Wendy Rodgers said.
On an average Sunday, eight to 12 church members worship here. On Sunday, the number more than doubled, with people from other towns bringing their own lawn chairs.
As the crowd grew, so did the number of seats.
It was a baptism of fire for Wade Berry, who took over as pastor nine months ago.
“Even a few days later, is this fire real?” Berry said. “Does this actually happen?”.
Community members helped turn a grassy field into a place of worship.
“I was talking to a friend who was there, and he said, I can come mow it,” Rodgers said.
Many people offered their support to a community that even a wildfire could not destroy.
“We don’t need a building,” Rodgers said. “We are still at the church. The church is still standing. We are still here.”
At the end of the Sunday service, more than 100 people gathered in Lawn Chair on Sunday.
Although there are no immediate plans, the pastor is hopeful that the church will one day be able to rebuild.