Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

December 19, 2012

‘This isn’t gonna slow us down’

Fast action saves Athens church from Christmas catastrophe

ATHENS — The smoke from inside his church was still churning, and all around him, firefighters were bustling around trying to take care of the job at hand.

And there stood the Rev. J. Micheal Cash, proudly talking about his congregation and its philosophy.

Serve the people. Spread God’s love. Tend to one another.

If he was shaken by the fact his church, First Church of the Nazarene, could have burned down Wednesday morning, it sure didn’t show.

“I know the devil likes to stir things up when you’re doing a lot of good, and we’re doing a lot of good,” the Rev. Cash said. “This isn’t gonna slow us down.”

Cash awoke to the sound of an alarm Wednesday morning at his parsonage located next to the church on the corner of Robbins Road and Dul Avriett. He said he initially thought the alarm wasn’t coming from the church, but decided to check anyway.

When he opened the door, smoke began pouring out.

Firefighters from Athens, and then Brownsboro and Payne Springs, hurried to the scene and began dealing with the fire and smoke. Flames were not visible from outside the church, but fire was, indeed, doing major damage on the inside of the building. Traffic heading to nearby South Athens Elementary School was detoured, and Robbins Road was blocked off near the church for a little more than an hour.

Athens Fire Chief John McQueary said his firefighters were still sorting out what happened to cause the fire, but that it seems to have started on a stage inside. The Rev. Cash said he believes it may have been started by something electrical.

By afternoon, the extent of damage was evident, to the tune of thousands of dollars of likely repairs and replacements that will be needed. The sanctuary was totally destroyed by fire, smoke and water. Even so, Cash said he was thankful that nobody was injured in the blaze, including the firefighters who battled it.

Cash said he planned to notify members of his congregation throughout the day Wednesday. The church, which has 115 members on the books, meets Wednesdays and Sundays, but services were not planned for this Wednesday.

“We had already planned to go caroling for some of the shut-in folks around here,” he said, “so we’re OK for tonight at least.”

He then offered to talk more to a reporter at a later time about other good things happening in the church.

“But call me on my cell,” he said with a bit of a sad smirk. “Obviously my office phone is going to be down for a while.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-16 beauty.jpeg Bursting with beauty

    A shining star already in her parents eyes,  Geraldine Nieto displayed her ray of beauty Sunday in Tyler to claim top status in the Sunburst Talent/Beauty Contest.
    The 5-year-old Athens resident is the daughter of Jaime and Karla Nieto.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dozens attend council meeting for recovery, transfer station

    Nathan Bullard, owner of Yellow Box Environmental LLC,  was at Gun Barrel City Hall to explain future development plans for property located at 546 Gun Barrel Lane.
    Bullard said he wanted to introduce himself and his company to the neighbors who own property close to his project.  
    Bullard was on hand to inform the public and address any concerns about the company’s plan to build a recovery and transfer station.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioners sign proclamation for San Jacinto Day

    The battle of the Alamo may be the best remembered conflict in Texas’ fight for independence, but the battle at San Jacinto closed the deal.
    Representatives of the Sons of the Republic of Texas were on hand at the Henderson County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday in observance of a proclamation, declaring April 21, San Jacinto Day.

    April 16, 2014

  • Ram to donate $20 per test drive to FFA Organization

    On April 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Ram Truck brand and Elder Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will host The Next Crop Project fundraising event at the dealership to benefit the National FFA Organization and local FFA chapter leadership programs in Henderson County.

    April 16, 2014

  • Athens tables large purchase

    The Athens City Council  Monday tabled awarding a bid for a large piece of equipment that removes asphalt from the surface of paved roads to make way for repairs.
    City Director of Utilities Glen Herriage recommended that the council award the bid to RDO Equipment Co. of Irving for a Road Hog cold planer. The RDO bid was for $123,267.06, which is below the budgeted amount of $134,000.

    April 15, 2014

  • 4-15 Joe Curl photo.jpg Former TVCC basketball coach Joe Curl passes

    Joe Curl, the former head coach of the Lady Cardinal basketball program, passed away at the age of 59 on Monday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Review earns six awards

    The Athens Daily Review was honored with six awards for journalism excellence during the North and East Texas Press Association yearly convention held Thursday-Saturday in Tyler.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mrs. Gibbs obit photo.jpg Mabank civic leader Alene Gibbs, 94, died Friday

    Long time Mabank civic leader Alene Gibbs passed away on Friday, April 11. She was born in Van Zandt County on Jan. 18, 1920. She was 94-years-old.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-14 Steer at auction 3.jpg Here comes the champs!

    Friday was a big night for the Eustace FFA at the Henderson County Livestock Show and for Jordyn Costlow, who presented the Grand Champion.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Saturday was payday at HCLS

    Payday came Saturday for  the youth who placed in the 54th annual Henderson County Livestock Show.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Twitter Updates