Residents of West reflect at outdoor church service

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 12:54 PM

WEST, Texas — First Baptist Church of West conducted open-air services on Sunday morning.

The congregation's church building is inside the blast zone left by Wednesday's devastating explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed 14 people. The roof of the church was damaged.

Chairs were set up in a field for the worship service on Saturday. Early Sunday, Associate Pastor Phil Immicke was seen draping fabric over a wooden cross on a temporary platform.

The church welcomed those dressed casually who were unable to access their "Sunday clothes" due to the disaster in their town.

"We are family," Senior Pastor John Crowder told the large crowd during the 10 a.m. service, adding that family members need to be together now more than ever.

Music was also a part of the emotional event.

"God says He will be our strength when we are weak," Pastor Crowder said. "Scripture says you are going to have trouble, but when you have trouble, you will have all the help you need."

"As scary as this has become, we don't have to be afraid," he said. "When [God] is our rock, we need not fear."

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com

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