COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- The Bleckley County Sheriff's Office is looking for two suspects who burglarized a church, and then set it on fire early Sunday morning.
As she walked the grounds near Saint James AME Church on Monday, life-long member, Sarah Dennard said she felt a sense of peace and hurt.
"Just looking back and the history that this church has and what kinds of effects it has had had on me and all the other members, it's just unbelievable, you know that we would ever have to experience something like this," said Dennard.
Around 5:30 Sunday morning, Bleckley County Lieutenant Greg Evans says firefighters calmed a blaze that consumed the entire sanctuary. Evans says a broken window and other evidence point to burglary and arson.
"It's really dramatic especially churches and stuff because people don't realize a church ain't just a building, people's lives were there, people were born there, they raise their kids there," said Evans.
Dennard says one of the most devastating things about the fire is that everything inside the church was destroyed.
"We did not save one thing," said Dennard.
But, the small church community does still have the memories.
"This is my home away from home," said Dennard.
It's the spot her family chose as their final resting place. It's the place where Dennard found her true calling.
"Under this church, I was able to get my license to minister," said Dennard.
No matter how difficult it was to watch her home burn to the ground, Dennard said the hearts of the congregation will be hole again.
"It's a family church, you know we all worked together, we supported one another, and it was just like everybody's heart melted," said Dennard.
State fire marshalls are also assisting with the investigation. Evans says at this time he's not releasing any other information about the two suspects.
Anyone with information on the fire can call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-282-5804. Rewards of up to $10,000 are given to tips that lead to an arrest and conviction of an arsonist.