Historic church celebrates Easter after fire

Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 19:21:03-04

ZABCIKVILLE, Texas — Members of the Ocker Brethren Church in Zabcikville are hoping Easter Sunday brings a change of fortune.

On Easter Sunday, worshipers joined together on Facebook Live, where Rev. Brad Herridge led a sunrise service from the church's fellowship hall. It was the first time a service had been led from inside the church since it was engulfed in flames on April 2.

"It was real important for us to be here and to show the people in the community and our church members that the church is still up," Herridge said. "We're still working. We're still worshiping. We're still trying to be the hands and feet of Christ."

The church had already begun live-streaming services a couple weeks before the fire, in response to Bell County's stay-at-home order.

"We weren't able to come together and hold one another and pray for one another and to see each other through this. We weren't able to do that. So, that's been the hardest part," Herridge said.

But, despite the hardship the country church has encountered in the last month, the sermon today was not about destruction or pain. It was about hope.

"Resurrection Sunday of all days [is important], especially after this fire and during this virus," Herridge said. "To say today is a day of life... It's a day of resurrection. It's a day where we celebrate new life."

He said the light of the sun rising on Easter morning brings the hope of a future beyond the fire and the virus.

"Sunday's coming," Herridge said. "Resurrection is coming for you in your life. It's coming for our community. It's coming for our church. It's coming to our church building. We're going to get there."

Herridge said the church plans to continue meeting virtually until the shelter-in-place order is lifted.