Members of the North Beaver Creek Baptist Church on NC 163 in West Jefferson are still recovering from the shocking loss of their church, but they have found comfort in the efforts of the community.
As of Friday, there has been no settlement from the insurance company that serves the church. Pastor Rick Miller said that “it’s a slow process,” and that until an insurance settlement has occurred, the church will not make any decisions about moving to a new location or repairing the church.
For the past three weeks since the church burned, the members of North Beaver Baptist Church have been holding services at Badger Funeral Home in West Jefferson.
In the future, church members will meet at Bald Mountain Baptist Church in West Jefferson, sharing the building with its host’s congregation.
Referencing Badger Funeral Home and Bald Mountain Baptist Church, Pastor Miller said, “We really appreciate them helping us in the short term.” Miller also wanted to express his gratitude toward the Ashe Baptist Association, David Blackburn in particular, for their support.
“The response from churches in this community, as well as churches all around North Carolina, has been really helpful,” said Miller. He mentioned there have also been responses from churches in Tennessee and Florida wanting to help.
Miller believes this is largely due to the fact that the church was lost to arson rather than by natural causes.
As for the investigation, the Ashe County Sheriff’s Department said there is a suspect, although no other information has been released.
To conclude his interview, Miller said, “Our main focus isn’t on the building or catching the person responsible; it’s to restore our preaching of the gospel and to move forward.”