Almost two years after the original building burned to the ground, Meadows of Dan Baptist Church will hold a groundbreaking service on Sunday, Feb. 19, to celebrate its plans for a new building.
Pastor Shawn Carter said he welcomes the Patrick County community to join in the groundbreaking. The service begins at 11 a.m. with the pastor’s message, followed by members who want to share memories of the original building.
Afterward, Carter said, the congregation will head outside for a hymn and the groundbreaking. The service is followed by soup and fellowship.
Meadows of Dan Baptist Church was established in 1855, and the former church building was built in the 1930s. Officials are still unsure what started the fire on March 5, 2015.
“At the beginning, it was heart-breaking. And it still is heart-breaking at times,” Carter said. “But knowing the church is not the building. The church is the people.”
Carter said the 60 or so members have met in the detached fellowship hall since the fire.
“There is a lot of emotion, working with the older members and the memories they had; even to the memories of the new members,” Carter said. “But then it’s a blessing to see how we rallied together and started the planning process. We continued on worshipping the next Sunday, and started planning.”
Carter said church members have been taking in donations through a relief fund and working with engineers and contractors. The new building will be built in the same configuration as the original, he said, only with a brick exterior.
Insurance payments and donations will finance the new building, Carter said, but there’s a possibility the church will need to take out a loan. “Insurance won’t cover it all. The building we had was significant. Building it with today’s costs, it’s a lot more. The materials are significantly higher than when it was built.”
Carter said there’s no firm deadline on completing the church, but equipment will arrive and foundation work will begin in the next three to four weeks.
– Angela H. Hill