UPDATE | Fire destroys church in Lincoln County

Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 6:32 AM EST
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UPDATE 1/28/20 @ 7:15 p.m.

Middle Fork Baptist Church near Hamlin in Lincoln County has been holding services for six decades. Now they are picking up the pieces after the church burned down in a few hours.

Four fire departments were called to the scene around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. When they got to the scene, the roof was already caving in. Firefighters battled the fire for a little more than four hours.

"This conflict will cause us to come closer together. I know it's brought our communities closer together because of the outpouring and the support and condolences," said Pastor Jerry Duncan of MIddle Fork Church.

Duncan has been a pastor at the church for more than 26 years. While he says this is disheartening, he knows his community will be able to overcome it with faith.

"Makes no difference what building we're in, as long as we're together," Duncan said.

The pastor said he has many fond memories with the congregation and know they will not be the last.

"Hopefully will make more memories for those who follow after us because that's our legacy," Duncan said. "I'm supposed to leave an inheritance that they'll leave an inheritance, and hopefully this world will be better because we passed through it."

Churches have opened their doors for Middle Fork Baptist in order to allow the 100-person congregation to worship this Sunday.

Hamlin firefighters were still putting out hot spots Tuesday afternoon, 10 hours after the fire began. No one was injured in the fire. Firefighters say the fire started in the back of the building before quickly moving to the front.

According to the West Virginia Fire Marshal, the fire's cause was electrical.


A fire was reported overnight at a church in Lincoln County, West Virginia.

A 911 dispatcher told WSAZ the fire was at the Middle Fork Baptist Church on Route 3 in Sweetland.

The dispatcher said the call came into 911 around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.