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Fires claim church, camp building in Louisiana

Fire destroyed the sanctuary of Atlanta Baptist Church in Atlanta, La., Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 17).

ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – The worship center at Atlanta (La.) Baptist Church and the White House Lodge of Dry Creek Baptist Camp in Dry Creek, La., were destroyed after fires engulfed the two facilities Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 17).

The fire at Atlanta Baptist Church started around 2:20 p.m., Pastor Chad James said. Members of the Winn Parish Fire Department responded and helped to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings housing Sunday school classrooms, offices, the fellowship hall and family life center/gymnasium.

The church, which has insurance and averages 100 in Sunday morning worship attendance, plans to rebuild the worship center. This Sunday the congregation plans to meet for worship in the gymnasium.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

“Please pray specifically for guidance as we begin the process of rebuilding,” James said. “Thanks to everyone for all the support and care expressed to us. We are in good spirits, are excited about the work the Lord has in store and are determined that our mission for the cause of Christ will not be interrupted nor deterred.”

Meanwhile, Dry Creek Baptist Camp Director Todd Burnaman said the White House Lodge caught fire at 2:30 p.m. and was totally engulfed by 3 p.m.

Members of the Beauregard Parish Volunteer Fire Department responded and Burnaman said they likely saved the parsonage of Dry Creek Bible Church, which is located about 75 feet from the destroyed building.

The lodge is insured, and the fire remains under investigation.

“There is an amazing outpouring of support from so many friends,” Burnaman said. “I appreciate God’s faithfulness in the midst of destruction and appreciate all the prayers and support from so many in Louisiana and across the country.”

The fires came as the state was dealing with the second winter storm in less than a week.

More than 126,000 businesses and homes in the state were in the dark at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to poweroutage.us. KTBS-TV of Shreveport, La., reported at least three people had died in Louisiana, thousands of residents lacked running water, hundreds of roads were iced over and state police were working 349 weather-related crashes.

Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn asked Louisiana Baptists, many who were not meeting Wednesday night out of safety precautions, to pray for the two fire-damaged ministries as well as the many others impacted by the storms.

“We have been through so much. Pray that we will be resilient and hopeful,” Horn said. “Our world desperately needs to see Christ followers be people of hope.”

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  • Baptist Message Staff

    Reported by the staff of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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