Fire crews battle blaze at church in Hughes, Arkansas

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HUGHES, Ark. — St. Mary Baptist Church in Hughes is a total loss after flames ripped through the building overnight Monday.

Once the flames were out Tuesday, Pastor Dedric Patterson got a better a look at the damage to the 92-year-old church.

“A lot of time, hard work went into this. Been here about six years,” Patterson said.

Patterson said it appears the fire started in the kitchen area, but firefighters aren’t sure yet what caused it. The back of the building is gone, the sanctuary gutted by fire.

Just last year, Patterson’s son was killed in a West Memphis shooting. Wednesday would have been his son’s birthday, Patterson said.

He said that once again, his faith in God and his church family will get him through this.

“I’ve been out here a long time, and I do know that in all things to trust God. Whatever it is, he has as a plan and just go with it,” he said.

St. Mary’s has around 50 active members. They say this is not the end, but rather a new beginning for the church.

“It ain’t going to stop us. Even if we have to have church in a tent, it won’t stop us,” Patterson said.

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