NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodBurleson County


Members return to destroyed historic Burleson County church following fire to assess damage

Members return to destroyed Burleson County historic church following fire to assess damage
Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 19:22:43-05

CALDWELL, Texas — Flames remain after a fire destroyed a historic church in Burleson County Wednesday.

Now, members of the New Tabor Brethren Church are trying to pick up the pieces.

  • A 130-year-old church is destroyed after a fire Wednesday afternoon.
  • The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
  • No injuries are reported.


Volunteer fire departments, Burleson County CERT team and EMS personnel from St. Joseph responded to the blaze Wednesday afternoon.

"When we got on scene, we saw the whole attic engulfed, pretty much, heavy smoke coming out of it," Burleson County Fire and Rescue Chief David Pevehouse said.

"With that much fire load in the attic, I didn't advise anyone to go in, I wanted to keep them out, so we fought it from the outside."

Members of the church gathered along County Road 225, watching as the flames spread from the steeple to the sanctuary.

"It feels like a nightmare. It really does. Yesterday, the church was fine. I was in there today. It was wonderful, beautiful. Now, it's gone," Pastor David Johnson said.

The church just celebrated their 130 anniversary in October.

Johnson says generations have gotten married or dedicated at the church.

"We feel the loss of the memories, but we're gonna continue to worship God here. That's not going to stop," he said.

Firefighters were able to salvage a Bible from the 1700s and a few other items.

Throughout the wreckage are damaged Bibles, electrical wires, twisted pieces of metal and wood, the frames of A/C units and ashes that were once the wooden floors.

But Johnson says this isn't the first time the church has been destroyed.

"In the early 1900s, a tornado knocked this building down, and then, in the 50s, I believe it was a fire and now we have another one," Johnson said.

He says church members are still experiencing shock.

But he knows for certain that they will rebuild.

"It's a challenge, and we're gonna beat it like we always have," he said.

Officials have not determined the cause of the fire yet, waiting for the fire marshals investigation.

But Johnson plans to hold service in its Fellowship building Sunday.

Church members encourage the community to monitor their website for information regarding donations.