HOUMA — As the construction equipment started knocking down the back of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church on Wednesday, Dana Davis began to cry.
“Everything wonderful and everything sad happened here,” Davis said.
Davis, like the rest of the church members at the site, were there to take one last look at the building. St. Matthew's was destroyed in the early hours of Nov. 11 following a fire.
The Rev. Craig Dalferes led the church members in a prayer, sprinkling the site with holy water.
“We are here to honor the closing of one chapter, and the opening of a new one,” Dalferes said.
Church members went inside and around the church, picking up any list-minute mementos before workers began the demolishing. Inside, just a few pews remained standing, the rest destroyed by the fire or the building's collapse.
Church members at the scene said they remember having most major events at St. Matthew's, be it baptisms, weddings and funerals.
“It was just a pretty church. You can't buy anything like that anymore,” said O.J. Faucheux, longtime church member.