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Christmas Eve candlelight service at Trinity

Lawton_Even a fire couldn't stop the congregation of Trinity Baptist Church from celebrating Christmas at their church home.  Members gathered in front of the fire-ravaged sanctuary Wednesday night for a candlelight service.  

A much larger crowd than expected came out to worship and draw strength from one another. "This building fire hasn't dampened our spirits at all.  If anything, it's brought us closer together," said Pastor Gene Escoe.

Some members of the congregation have attended Trinity for over fifty years, getting married, and watching their kids grow up.   For them, Wednesday's service is still one of the most important nights--not just because it's Christmas--but because it shows just how strong the congregation's faith is.  "That's just a place to worship and you can do that anywhere. You don't have to be in your own building," said member Abe Deutschendorf.

So, gathering outside of their fire-devastated sanctuary was just fine with Pastor Escoe. "To show that something as small as building isn't going to stop us from meeting God's mission.''The carols, candlelight, and worship were all part of that mission Wednesday night, in Trinity Baptist's first Christmas Eve service in over 5 years.  "I think it's enlivened the spirit of our church.  I really do," Escoe said.

On this silent, peaceful night, you can tell that's the case.

"Smiling and cheering, so to speak. There was cheerfulness. I mean, there were some tears shed and there need to be.  But, overall this is going to make our church closer together," Escoe said.

Trinity's pastor originally planned Wednesday's service for last Sunday night, but after the fire, everything was postponed. Still, the congregation's spirits remained high and the fire couldn't keep them from celebrating Christmas at Trinity Baptist.

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