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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Benefit to help pastor, homeless after fire


  • The lightening bolt that sparked a house fire spared a preacher's most valued possession – and vital work tool.


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  • The lightening bolt that sparked a house fire spared a preacher's most valued possession – and vital work tool.

    “I found it there in good shape on the table – it was amazing,” said the Rev. Allen Robinson about his Bible, which survived a June 11 electrical fire at his rental home that burned everything inside.

    The pastor of St. Phillip Baptist Church was about to return from Houston where two days prior he had officiated the marriage of his son and new bride, when he got the call.

    He said he likely would have felt the bolt directly because it appears to have struck in the middle of what was his home on River Road.

    While the exterior of the one-story house remained upright, the roof concaved like a sinkhole.

    Water from firefighters' hoses trying to contain the flames destroyed everything that the fire did not scorch.

    “My mom called me and told me it was on fire. I just said, 'Well ... let it burn. What can I do?'” Robinson reflected.

    The seven-hour drive back to his native Bastrop prompted the preacher to ask questions beyond where he was going to live next.

    “It was the Lord's will – a reminder that we are not in control,” he concluded.

    Saturday evening his church's congregation of more than 100 has planned an impromptu benefit event hoping to raise funds for Robinson, whose father, Grover, was pastor up to 2000.

    Church member Barbara Tyler said she has “canvassed” other churches personally and mailed letters asking help.

    She's hopeful that contributions may add up for Robinson once word about his predicament spreads.

    “I think this will galvanize people. We are all a part of the body (of God),” she said.

    The church, she said, is rallying around its pastor.

    “It's a test of faithfulness for all of us. You say you can meet the test, like Job, but can you do it?” she said.

    Both the Red Cross and Salvation Army have helped Robinson find a temporary place to live. On Thursday, he got a call about a possible apartment available at the Historic Bastrop High Apartments.

    The pastor said he's been encouraged about how people around him have responded to his crisis.

    “Everything happens for a reason. The Lord can tear something down, but He builds back up.”

    To find out how to help, or about the benefit, starting at 6 at St. Phillip, 1304 Daisy St., call Tyler at 351.2044 or Zelda Downs at 281.1505.

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