Destroy Historic Royse City Church and Home During North Texas Storms

ROYSE CITY, Texas – Amid severe storms on Tuesday, fires destroyed the historic First United Methodist Church in Royse City and a home in Sunnyvale. Neighbors hugged each other as they watched firefighters tackle the blaze at the 120-year-old church.

“It’s just painful,” said Michael Baley, a congregant of the Royse City church. Firefighters arrived at the church’s sanctuary building shortly before 11 a.m. and found the attic already ablaze.

Despite the destruction, Baley and others leaned on their faith. “Like Christ rose from the dead, our church will continue to rise from the dead,” he affirmed.

Senior Pastor Chris Everson expressed gratitude that no one was in the building at the time. “Even with the loss of the sanctuary, God remains present,” Everson said. He plans to hold Sunday service at the church, although the specifics are yet to be determined.

The fire chief suggested lightning likely caused the fire, but the investigation continues.

In Sunnyvale, a fire engulfed a home on Tripp Road. The fire chief attributed it to either a lightning strike or an electrical surge. Sherin Jose, who lives across the street, recalled the moment her family discovered the fire. “My baby stared at the fire, and my mom turned around and saw it. She screamed, and we all ran out. I called 911 immediately,” Jose said.

The vacant house worried Jose and her neighbors due to the risk of the fire spreading through dense trees. “Thank God, it was really scary. Somebody’s saying some strong prayers for us,” she added.

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