The Duncan Banner

Local News

February 21, 2013

Area residents cope with the loss of their church



Haylee Crowell, Foursquare Gospel member, said the church at Fifth and Pine will also hold an important sentiment to her.
“The church meant the world to me,” Crowell said. “I started going there when I was 16. I’m 22 now.
“That’s where I was baptized. That’s where I had my baby shower. When it burned down, I cried.”
While Crowell didn’t live in Duncan the entire time since her baptism, she described the church as being her “home.”
No one was physically injured in the fire. But for Crowell, Sims and Spradling, there’s something left missing, a piece of their hearts that won’t mend.
“It tugs at your heart when you see something like that in person,” Spradling said. “What I can’t express is the emotion in our hearts.”
For Sims and Spradling, the church was all about family.
Their mother, Junia Spradling, was a minister in the church. Harold Spradling said several of the Spradling siblings went on to become ministers, starting churches in other areas and communities. He said the love of their church helped drive them to come to the aid of others.
Junia Spradling died a few months ago at nearly 96 years old. She died July 22, 2012, according to Banner obituary records. Junia’s father was Fortenberry, who established the First Assembly of God Church at that location. Junia was 15 when she began her ministry. 
“I’m glad she didn’t get to see this happen,” Sims said. “It would have been really sad for her. It hurts me. I’m so shocked.
“I thought there would be some walls left. There’s one wall left. There’s no rebuilding it.”

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