Pastor of Dandridge church destroyed by fire wants to rebuild

Pastor of Dandridge church destroyed by fire wants to rebuild

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A Jefferson County church that stood for 40 years was destroyed by fire over the weekend. Now the community is rallying together to help the pastor rebuild. A Jefferson County church that stood for 40 years was destroyed by fire over the weekend. Now the community is rallying together to help the pastor rebuild.
"I really don't know at this minute what I'm going to do," said Pastor Frances Branner. "I really don't know at this minute what I'm going to do," said Pastor Frances Branner.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

DANDRIDGE (WATE) - A Jefferson County church that stood for 40 years was destroyed by fire over the weekend. Now the community is rallying together to help the pastor rebuild.

Previous story: Jefferson County church destroyed in fire

"I really don't know at this minute what I'm going to do," said Frances Branner.

For half of her life Branner has been the pastor at the House of Prayer in Dandridge. Everything changed Saturday night.

"We had just come out of the church and smelled smoke," she said.

Flames took over the building leaving only rubble behind.

"Tears filled my eyes. I couldn't help but cry," said Branner.

Branner says her goal with this church and this ministry is to help people in need in the community. Now she says it is amazing to see the number of people coming out to help her.

"I appreciate anybody that stops to say anything just like I appreciate it when they set a bag of clothes on the porch to help somebody else," she said.

It has been known as a safe haven for those in need for four decades.

"It's such a big help to the community you know helping other people," said Roy Branner.

Now they are left wondering what is next.

"I hope and pray that I can get another building," said Frances Branner.

They say they will carry on their mission no matter what happens.

"We got to keep uplifting the community and uplifting the lord because it'll be worth it one day," said Roy Branner.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time. There is an account set up at First Tennessee Bank for donations under the name House of Prayer.
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