PONDER — A three-alarm fire heavily damaged the Denton County Cowboy Church in Ponder Saturday morning.
The Denton County Sheriff's Office said units were dispatched to the rural house of worship at 400 Robinson Road about 8:20 a.m.
Church spokesman Randall Durham said he has been told by Denton County officials that the metal building is a total loss.
"This church is full of a lot of people who put a lot of hard work into that building, and it's sure tough to see that," said Pastor Brandon Henderson.
It's a heartbreaking loss to people like JoAnn Montoya, who were part of the church's humble beginnings.
"It just outgrew the barn, so we cut the stalls out and it kept growing," said the woman more popularly known as "Granny Jo."
She said Cowboy Church started six years ago with 35 members. There are more than 800 now.
"I know God's got a plan, and we'll get through that, but a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into building that," Pastor Henderson said.
But he added that church services will go on Sunday morning in the parking lot. Henderson said they will rebuild and he thinks the fire could be a blessing in disguise since the congregation had grown bigger than their building.
"Drama, drama drama!" Montoya said. "The devil thinks he won, but he hasn't!"
Firefighters from Krum, Justin, Denton, Flower Mound and Little Elm assisted units from Ponder in battling the blaze.
The church property is about 11 miles southwest of Denton.