Published in the December 27, 2018 edition.

The following information was submitted by Melinda Parry, Church Moderator of the First Baptist Church.

WAKEFIELD – Debris removal has begun at the First Baptist Church site. At about noon on December 26, the bell was found. It is broken and cracked and won’t toll again. Congregants are, however, quite excited that this piece of their history can be seen again. Workers will search for small pieces of the bell that broke off when the bell fell into the basement of the church during the October 23 fire.

In the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s many young congregants toured the bell with then-sexton Arthur Anderson. He would give them his key and have them scratch their names into the bell. Perhaps when the bell is cleaned, those names will be visible.

Work at the site is ongoing and it is estimated that it will take at least four weeks. Watchers are urged to keep their distance for their own safety.

Church members continue to be grateful to the community for the ongoing outpouring of support and concern.