Updated: Thursday, 24 Jan 2013, 4:20 AM EST
Published : Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013, 11:50 AM EST
PARKSLEY, Va. (WAVY) - Dozens gathered at an Onancock church Wednesday evening to remember the times they shared at the now burned down Adams United Methodist Church.
Virginia State Police were called to Adams United Methodist Church on the 23000 block of Leemont Road in Parksley at approximately 9 a.m . Wednesday morning.
Troopers said the cause of the fire is still unknown, but it is not being classified as arson. Many Eastern Shore residents feared it could be the work of a serial arsonist, now responsible for 40 fires in the area.
When crews arrived to the scene Wednesday morning, flames were pouring out of windows. Firefighters did all they could to save the building, but report water coming out of hoses was turning into ice due to chilly conditions.
Pastor Carl Perez said the church was home to about 140 members and has been in Parksley for 135 years.
"The building means a lot to us but it doesn't mean as much as the spirit of God and I think that's what's important," Perez said. "The building may go, but our spirits are still vital, our spirits are still ready to go and we will continue doing what we need to do to keep it a good ministry."
Members of the church held a service Wednesday evening at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Onancock.
"I think this just shows how much of a family we are," Lisa Ashby said. "Now just to go by and see there is nothing on the inside [of our church]... it's heartbreaking."
Even without a building, the pulse of the church continued to beat in its members' hearts Wednesday.
"This is just a little bump in the road," Katrina Perez said. "We will get through it. We'll rebuild."
Church members plan to hold a community prayer vigil at Grace United Methodist Church in Parksley starting at 5 p.m.
Adams United Methodist Church will continue Sunday service at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Onancock.
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