Trial by fire’and wind and water

In a story that parallels others that date back thousands of years, one local church is using personal encounters and experiences to spread the work and Word and how it relates to the Brady community. The Brady Gospel Church, pastored by Charles Hallford, is located on the Menard Hwy. Over the past several years, the church has been re-roofing the structure as funds and manpower have permitted. In one fell swoop, Mother Nature overturned the progress that had taken volunteers several years to complete. On Feb. 24, a weather system that brought sustained high winds for much of the day battered the church, as well as other structures throughout McCulloch County. Wind gusts as high as 65 miles per hour were recorded during the day, and as luck would have it, the power of the wind blew off the new portion of the roof on the church. “The re-roofing of the long north and south wings was done and the back five wings were nearly complete with a unified roof,” said Hallford. “Work was to begin on re-roofing the circular sanctuary within the year. I have to admit, that when I saw how the wind had relocated our roof to the parking lot, I was more than a bit shocked.” The next day, a group of more than 30 workers from at least four other churches in the community joined Hallford and the church in working to repair the damage. The group spent the day cleaning up the parking lot and removing twisted metal from the roof. With things moving right along, Sunday ended and Monday arrived with yet another set of challenges’a fire was burning in the south wing of the church. The Brady Fire Department was summoned, and over the next few hours, extinguished the flames and saved the majority of the structure and sanctuary of the church. According to Hallford, it appears that cutting torches used to remove the twisted metal roof apparently allowed sparks to fall onto the substructure of the roof where they smoldered until the early morning hours when it flared and burned the wing of the church. “It is a unique experience being tested by wind, fire and water all within a matter of hours,” said Hallford. “I think there is good material for a sermon somewhere in this entire ordeal.” This weekend, the church began a renewed effort to repair the damage caused by the fire. The project will continue, despite challenges that Hallford says still have him in shock. “We want the community to know how much we appreciate everyone’s time, effort and financial support,” said Hallford. “It touches our heart to see how these other churches and members have come to our aid in this time of need. We even had a Cub Scout den help with the clean-up after the fire. Brady is a wonderful community of compassionate people.” More pictures from the clean-up are available at the church’s web site at www.bradygospel- Donations can be sent to the church at P.O. Box 629, Brady, Tex. 76825.

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