Father of murdered son dealt second blow after his Arkansas church goes up in flames

HUGHES, Ark. — The Hughes Fire Department is still investigating the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed a small baptist church just off Highway 79 early Tuesday morning .

You could see the smoke from St. Mary Baptist Church from miles away.  One neighbor captured the flames on his cell phone and streamed it live on Facebook.

"Early morning in Hughes, Arkansas a church fire.  That's sad," said Kevin McDonald.

The pastor of the church was in tears after getting a look at the sanctuary gutted by the fire.

Last year, Pastor Dedric Patterson's son, Clark Brown, was killed in a shooting at the Westwood Apartments in West Memphis.

"A matter of fact, tomorrow would be his birthday," said Patterson.

Patterson has been pastor of St. Mary Baptist Church for six years and said they put a lot of work into the 92-year-old church building.

He said once again his faith will get him through the ordeal and the 50 member church will continue to grow.

"It ain't going to stop us-- even if we have to have church in a tent.  It won't stop us," said Patterson.

The fire chief says the fire started in the rear of the building. So far, the cause has not been determined.  The Horshoe Lake Fire Department also responded to the fire.

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