BRANCHVILLE, Va. (WVEC) - Firefighters battled a blaze at a Southampton County church Wednesday afternoon.
The Rising Star Baptist Church was destroyed after a possible lightning strike hit the building.
"Just to see the devastation it leaves you hurt, somewhat lost," explained Viola Lucas.
Lucas has been a church member her whole life. Looking at her church, her home, she’s at a loss for words.
She said, "It's something that gets you in your gut."
The 150-year-old historic church is now rubble. On Wednesday afternoon, a storm blew through the area with lightening. Crews believe that lightening may be the cause of the fire.
"It hurt, it hurts to look at it like that. We were just here on Sunday," explained Bernice Turner.
When crews arrived flames were fully engulfed inside the church. 11 departments responded, several didn’t even work in the county.
No one was hurt and members say that was a blessing from God.
Lucas said she believes in the power of prayer to get the congregation though this emotional time and help them rebuild.
"The building is just a building," said Lucas. "Our church is still standing, because we are the church."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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