ANSON, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The First Methodist congregation of Anson is still reeling from the loss of their 115 year-old church in a fire the night of May 13. The fire was caused by a lightning strike and reduced the main sanctuary which had stood since 1908 to ash and rubble.

“It just rocked my psyche. Every morning when I get up I just still cannot believe that our church is not here,” said Church member Dorothy Watkins.

“The agony of growing old is living long enough to see something that you never thought you would see in your lifetime,” added church member Joe Edd Boaz.

As the church dug through the remains of the historic building, the old rumor of a time capsule in the cornerstone began to resurface. Upon removal, the congregation found the rumor to be true, a water-tight metal box nestled in the cornerstone containing documents and items placed there by members of the church in 1908.

“Thank God that they thought to do that,” said Boaz.

“It helps us feel connected to them and that we’ve managed to keep the church going for this 115 years,” explained Watkins.

Among the items were newspapers, coins, attendance roll sheets, and even a lock of hair attached to a funeral service pamphlet. The hair is thought to belong to the 16-year-old girl whom the service was held for.

“The items that were found in it are just invaluable and tells us a lot about not only the church but the city of Anson,” Watkins shared.

The members of the church have found that even at a time of great loss, the congregation will always look after their own, even if they have to reach out more than 100 years into the future.

“It’ll be okay and I’ve just learned not to take things for granted, that they’re gonna always be there because they may not always be there,” Watkins said.

Plans to rebuild have already begun. Members said they hope to keep the exterior reminiscent of the past façade while updating the interior with modern necessities. The congregation of today are keeping in mind the future members that will inherit the building.

“It’s helping us to keep a focus on. We’re rebuilding this church not for us, but for our future generations,” shared church member Sara Boaz-Guernsey.