Southern Ill. congregation rebuilding after church destroyed by fire from lightning strike

The Junction General Baptist Church congregation held a groundbreaking on Sunday, Sept. 11 at...
The Junction General Baptist Church congregation held a groundbreaking on Sunday, Sept. 11 at the site of what will be their new church.(Junction General Baptist Church)
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 2:27 PM CDT
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JUNCTION, Ill. (KFVS) - A southern Illinois congregation will rebuild after a lightning strike and fire destroyed their church in June.

In a release from the church, they said on the night of June 1, the cross on top of the steeple was struck by lightning, starting a fire in the belfry tower of the church.

According to Pastor Roy J. Biggerstaff, the building that was destroyed by the fire was built in 1889.

The congregation was gifted a parcel of land across the street from the previous building. They said the old spot was not suitable for rebuilding because of the floodplain.

The Life and Ministry of the Junction General Baptist Church held a groundbreaking on Sunday, September 11 at the new site.

According to the church’s release, they are working with an Alabama group called Carpenters for Christ to help build the church. They said a group of 75-100 men with gather starting on June 8, 2023 to build the new church.

In the meantime, the church continues to meet in the First Baptist Church building every Sunday at 8 a.m. for Sunday school and 9 a.m. for morning worship services.

If you would like to donate to complete the project, you can send a donation to Junction G.B. Church c/o Banterra Bank, PO Box 680, Eldorado, IL 62930 or drop it off at the nearest Banterra Bank.

Organized around 1852 as Harmony Church, the congregation said Junction General Baptist Church is one of the oldest general Baptist churches in southern Illinois.

They said Junction hosted the organization meeting of the National Association of General Baptist in 1876.