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BRIDGEPORT, Texas – It stood tall and unshakable among the smoking debris surrounding it.

A cross was all that remained of Balsora Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Texas, after a fire swept through the building Friday, leading to a response from a dozen area agencies.

The Boonesville-Balsora Volunteer Fire Department described the church fire as a “devastating loss” to the community but noted that the cross was a “sight to behold.”

The building is just a building, the department said. It can be replaced.

“The church is the congregation, and where two or more gather, there He shall be also,” the department wrote in a stirring Facebook post, alluding to Matthew 18:20.

The roof began to collapse while firefighters were still inside. Several firefighters were treated at the scene. Extreme temperatures taxed resources and available manpower, the department said.

Photo via Lake Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook

The Facebook post featured a striking image taken by the Lake Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department of the cross standing among the destroyed remnants of the church building.

“The cross reminds us all to stand tall!” the Lake Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department wrote on its page. “It remains standing in all of its glory, while its background is nothing but ash and debris. Simple reminder how precious life is and how quickly it can turn.”

The fire didn’t stop the congregation from worshipping this weekend; the church gathered for prayer at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Anyone interested in helping the church can send donations to:

Balsora Baptist Church
108 CR 3623
Bridgeport, TX 76426