West church holds Easter service outdoors six years after explosion

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WEST, Texas (KWTX) First Baptist Church in West held their Easter service outdoors Sunday, as a celebration to not only the resurrection of Jesus but the restoration of the city.

Six years ago on April 17, 2013 a fertilizer explosion killed 15 people and left many more without their home.

A portion of the city was closed off in the coming days, and left First Baptist with no building to hold church services come Sunday.

"The Sunday after the explosion in April, 2013... we couldn’t get to the church," says Pastor John Crowder, "The north part of town was cornered off and they were doing all the investigating make sure everyone was safe and all that."

The church decided to find a way to hold church services no matter what, and with help from various members in the community a service was held in a field next to railroad tracks.

"It was really important for us to do that on that day, because we hadn’t seen each other yet," says Crowder, "...we are like family and it was a wonderful thing to be able to see each other on that day."

Every year since, the community has come back to the field where church was held in April of 2013.

This year it just happens to be on Easter.

"We have multiple reasons to celebrate and worship today... we’re looking at celebrating our restoration and his resurrection," says Crowder.