DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (CBS Local) — A church in North Carolina is considered to be a total loss after a fire just one week before Christmas. That is — except for one sacred artifact. Miraculously, a cross from inside the building was recovered moments before it would have become part of the rubble.

Firefighters were dispatched Tuesday night to the Siloam United Methodist Church near Denton. When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the building.

Firefighters say they managed to save a cross from inside just before a portion of the building collapsed.

“God is very powerful and he saves his symbol to show that anything is possible, even through the fires,” the pastor’s daughter told WGHP.

Despite the devastation, parishioners were moved and encouraged after learning the cross was saved.

“I think that was a sign. Even though the building is gone, God is still here,” Keith Jackson told CBS affiliate WFMY.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how the fire started. No one was injured.

Siloam United Methodist Church was founded in 1833, and though this wasn’t the original building, most its 60 members have attended church here their entire lives, WFMY reports.

“I can’t even describe it. It’s just an emptiness because it was such a big part of our lives,” said Cathy Jackson, who has been a member for more than 40 years. “It’s just a family and it’s almost like losing your home.”