Greenville church leaders evacuate during Gatlinburg fire

Courtesy: Chris Barney
Courtesy: Chris Barney

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A group of church leaders from Hampton Park Baptist Church had to evacuate during the Gatlinburg fire.

Pastor for Administration, Chris Barney, says they were in Gatlinburg for a leadership planning retreat. They went to Pigeon Forge to eat, when they learned Gatlinburg was being evacuated.

“They had the roads blocked, in any area we thought we could get around, it got so smoky,” Barney recalled. “As we were driving you’d see the mountainside and you can actually see the fires burning.”

When they went back to the cabin the next morning, it was destroyed.

“When we lifted our eyes to look at the cabin, there was no cabin to look at. The whole thing was gone, just the foundation. We realized that all the stuff that we had in there was gone and two of their guys lost their cars,” Barney said.

Even though they lost their belongings in the fire, they soon found out the loss was much greater for others.

“People are so much more important than things,” Barney said. “People who are up there suffering through that kind of loss it really puts ours in perspective.’

The church says they will continue to pray for those who have lost homes, businesses and more.

“God never promised to keep us from danger but that he desires to preserve us through it.”

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