Last year Ryan Chapel Methodist Church in Diboll burned down but re-building began back in May and now the congregation has a new church home.
 
A Sunday morning in May of 2015 passed by like any other for Ryan Chapel in Diboll but the evening was a different story. 
 
“About dusty dark the members across the street called to tell us the church was on fire,” said Shirley Terrell, a member of Ryan Chapel.
 
The church which had stood in the same place since 1937 had burned to the ground.
 
The members began the look for a temporary church home and found one in a church next door.
 
Primera Iglesia Bautista de Diboll, (First Baptist Church of Diboll) a Mexican congregation.
 
“Brother Pedro (Aviles), who is their minister, has been fantastic of course it wasn’t home,” said Terrell. “But we couldn’t have asked for a better congregation to meet the needs that we had.”
 
The two congregations adjusted their schedules so the two could meet independently.
 
But during their stay plans were made to rebuild and they received some help from the community.
 
“It’s a very traumatic experience for the members initially, they’ve lost a lot of history,” said Tony Vinson, East District UMC Superintendent. “We supported by fundraising across the district and a lot of different groups and individuals became involved.”
 
The whole town stepped in to lend a hand and the congregation was overwhelmed by the support they received.
 
“The whole town and the other churches have been fantastic,” Terrell said while holding back a few tears.
 
And when the congregation was finally able to gather in their new home a dedication ceremony was held.
 
“We just did one big dedication because you can get so particular as to even bring in the pieces one at a time but we just did it all at once and it was just the most beautiful thing,” said Mary Hendry, member of Ryan Chapel.
 
And emotions are still high with in the congregation that the wait for the new building is finally over.
 
“We were still pinching ourselves, we can hardly realize that we’ve got it,” said Terrell.
 
“Euphoric, that’s all I can say is it’s just euphoric,” said Hendry.