A devastating Christmas Eve fire killed a North Carolina minister’s wife.
Sarah Fogarty Beddingfield, 68, of Lillington, died Dec. 25 after a Christmas tree fire. Her husband, Ed Beddingfield, has been pastor at Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek since 2015. The church is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church.
Ed Beddingfield, as well as one of his daughters was injured in the fire.
He did not have to be taken to the hospital, but his daughter, Shannon is still in the Jaycee Burn Unit in Chapel Hill. Meghan, another daughter, escaped with minor injuries.
Shannon’s condition, as of Jan. 5. was that she had been taken off the lung machine and was showing signs of regaining a level of consciousness.
“At our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, our pastor Ed Beddingfield assured us that God is with us even in times of great darkness,” according to a page set up to raise funds for the family.
“Later that evening that darkness visited our pastor and our congregation as Ed’s sweet wife Sarah died in a fire at their home.”
During the service, Beddingfield shared the story of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He reminded the congregation to cling to the hope that “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.”
Milton A. Hollifield, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), encouraged the BSC staff to pray for the Beddingfields during this tough time. Hollifield mentioned the family as a prayer request during the BSC’s weekly chapel time Jan. 3. He also mentioned other churches in the area were offering help and prayer.
Monetary donations may be mailed to: Memorial Baptist Church, P.O. Box 485, Buies Creek, NC 27506.
Money may be directed to the MBC Emergency Relief Fund to be used to help the family. Any donations that exceed those needs will be used at the discretion of the committee for that fund.
Donations may also be directed to the Jaycee Burn Unit. Contact Natecshesia McMillan at (984) 974-0112.
A “Go Fund Me” account has been set up as well. Visit gofundme.com/beddingfield-family-relief-fund.
As of Jan. 9, donations had reached more than $13,000 of the $25,000 goal set.
The family’s Lillington home was destroyed. The Go Fund Me page gave a bit of history on the family, including Sarah who had retired as a public school teacher and most recently was a volunteer for the Harnett County Public Library. Both daughters are pursuing doctoral degrees.
For further updates, visit the church’s website: memorialbcnc.org/beddingfield.
Arrangements for the funeral are pending.