Photo right and below right: On Dec. 15, 2016, a fire destroyed Barton United Methodist Church in Byhalia, Mississippi. Photo from Barton UMC Facebook page.
The Barton United Methodist Church family is grateful for the overwhelming support from fellow United Methodists and their community after a fire that destroyed their facility on Dec. 15. Everything inside burned according to the pastor, Rev. Michael John Pope. He said fire investigators suspect the furnace may have triggered the blaze.
The congregation is temporarily meeting about eight miles from Barton at Mt. Pleasant UMC where Pope also pastors. He anticipated the Sunday service after the fire would be sad instead it was encouraging. He offered members a time to share their personal grief and their hope for Barton moving forward.
"They see this as an opportunity to see where it is God is leading us and where do we go as a new beginning church. I was very encouraged by the responses," said Pope.
Monetary donations to support Barton UMC can be sent to Barton UMC, P.O. Box 51, Mt. Pleasant, MS, 38649. Prayers for Barton UMC are encouraged.