The Dixie Fire has been raging in Northern California since mid-June. It is currently the third-largest fire in state history.
(California Southern Baptist Convention photo)

Northern California church, members’ homes victim to Dixie Fire

The three-week-old Dixie Fire engulfed the town of Greenville, California, along with Greenville Southern Baptist Church’s fellowship hall and youth building on Aug. 5. The fire, which is reportedly named after the road where it sparked, now encompasses 676 square miles, according to media reports.

The fire entered the town of Greenville on Aug. 4 and caused massive devastation.

Plumas County Supervisor Kevin Goss wrote on Facebook that the fire “burnt down our entire downtown. Our historical buildings, families homes, small businesses and our children’s schools are completely lost.”

Nearby Greenville Southern Baptist Church had a small apartment in which a father and three daughters were living. All four were evacuated safely, but now face the loss of their home.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning Wednesday evening online to the town’s approximately 800 residents: “You are in imminent danger, and you must leave now!”

Terry Jones, the church’s pastor for about a year, was evacuated a few days prior. “Part of our church burned, the sanctuary is still standing,” he said. “Some of our church members have lost homes.

‘God’s in control’

“God’s in control, we may not understand why, but He has a plan,” Jones said.

Mike Bivins, director of California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, said, “We are not responding at this point as it’s still a hot spot. We can’t really do anything until the fires are out.”

However, disaster relief is partnering with the Red Cross to distribute gift cards for food, gas and other essentials.

“We were set up to head to Plumas County to help with the 60 homes that burned but are waiting to hear from the county,” Bivins noted. “Currently we are on standby for feeding the evacuees of the Beckwourth Complex Fire at the Red Cross shelter in Susanville.”

J Ballard, director of missions for Feather River Association, said, “Highway 89, which runs through Greenville, is currently closed.” A Send Relief trailer has been set up to assist with the devastation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Anthony Beaird and was originally published by the California Southern Baptist Convention.

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