The doors of the Lamont Baptist Church in Lamont, Florida are open again, and the pews were completely filled as members sang "Standing on the Promises," a song on the sole piece of sheet music that survived a fire two years ago that destroyed the church building, but not its people.
"It was just a can-do attitude that developed after that day, you know. We helped put the fire out, but at the same time, the next day we were then meeting to decide if we wanted to, what we wanted to do and that very next day we established a building committee," explained Gerald Bailey, a longtime member of Lamont Baptist Church.
So Gerald Bailey and other dedicated members of the 137-year-old church pushed past their grief and burnt ruins, and lifelong members who had generations of family grow up in the church as well as new members and community folks helped rebuild.
"We're very appreciative of our sister churches and all those who donated time and energy and prayer. It's been a real joy to see Christians come together to see this thing rebuilt," said the church's interim pastor, John Dorman.
And they didn't just rebuild the new building the same old way; they made a 180-degree turn so their church now faces Highway 19 rather than Old St. Augustine Road.
Members of the Lamont Baptist Church say they owe a special thanks to the Methodist church for allowing them to worship there for the past couple of years.