Fire at Vidalia United Methodist Church

On Sunday, July 11th, a fire consumed the Vidalia United Methodist Church. The fire resulted in a complete loss of the building that dates back to 1958. 

Rev. Dr. Steve McDonald was set to preach just his second sermon at Vidalia, as his new appointment was just beginning. 

"This was not how I envisioned my ministry here to begin," said McDonald. "But I am doing fine, and the people here are doing fine. The building is gone, and with it, a lot of treasured memories. The congregation will continue, and we may even see this as an opportunity God gives us to start again." 


Bishop Cynthia Fierro and District Superintendent Rev. Karli Pidgeon were on hand Sunday, visiting the site just hours after the fire. 

Pidgeon remembers meeting several of the church members who remained upbeat, despite the destruction of the building. "Several of them said, 'Guess what? God is still here!'," Pidgeon remembers. "We are going to partner with them to see what the next steps may be."

On Monday, July 12th, the Vidalia United Methodist Church voted unanimously to begin the process of exploring a rebuild of the church. 

The fire remains under investigation; however, officials do not suspect foul play. 

"Discouraged but not in despair"

McDonald says there is a remarkable feeling of resolve amidst the congregation. He says the congregation continued to ask, 'how can we move forward?'

"It reminds me of Paul's word to the Corinthians when he speaks of being discouraged but not in despair," said McDonald. "We are discouraged, but we are not in despair because God is still God, and we are still His people. We look forward to discerning what's next and cooperating with what God lays out in store for what's to come." 

If you are interested in helping Vidalia United Methodist Church, please send a check to Vidalia's PO box:

Vidalia United Methodist Church
PO Box 296
Vidalia, LA 71373-0296

Vidalia United Methodist will be worshipping inside the Concordia Rec Center on Alabama Street, Sundays at 9:00 am. 


Listen to a podcast featuring Dr. Rev. Steve McDonald 


Found an issue with this page? Click here to let us know.