First Baptist Church in Statesville moved a March 7 concert to another local church after an afternoon fire damaged its facilities.
“There are so many people to thank and so many blessings for which to be grateful,” said Senior Pastor Nelson Granade in a letter posted March 8 on the Statesville Record & Landmark website. “Our congregation is united in moving forward with our mission to know and love Jesus Christ and to make Him known.”
Statesville fire fighters responded to the kitchen fire in the church’s Family Life Center (FLC) just after 4 p.m. on March 7.
A Record & Landmark article reported the same day that 20 people were evacuated. The report said the fire was under control within 30 minutes.
The Tennessee Tech University Chorale Concert was moved to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church that evening.
While the power was out through part of March 8, the church was able to host its regular Wednesday night activities and a couple of preschool classes were able to go on a scheduled field trip as well. The preschool was closed for the day but reopened March 9.
Assistant Fire Chief Gary Styers said the kitchen sustained significant damage, as did rooms that were near the fire. The FLC, which is in an annex on the east side of the building, is two stories.
No injuries were reported. In a Record & Landmark story March 8, investigators said the blaze was accidental, caused by the improper disposal of cooking materials.
Mike Billings, the Statesville fire marshall, estimated the damage at $250,000.
In a letter to the paper’s readers, Granade said the church had enough facilities that it will be able to continue its regular ministries on site with some adjustments.
He thanked the community for its offers of help.
He said he hopes the church’s insurance will cover the cost of replacing the kitchen, which was declared a total loss, as well as the cleaning and repair of nearby rooms that sustained damage.