Fire destroys church

Published 10:24 am Friday, August 25, 2017

Rising Star Baptist, a historic Southampton County church located on Little Texas Road, was destroyed by fire on Wednesday evening.

Units from the Branchville, Boykins, Drewryville, Capron and Courtland volunteer fire departments, and the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene  at approximately 4:18 p.m. to find the entire building engulfed in flames. Additional tankers from Greensville County, the Sussex County Courthouse and the towns of Seaboard and Severn, North Carolina, also responded.

This information comes from Lt. Camden Cobb, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office. Cobb added that there were no reported injuries or deaths related to the incident, and confirmed that the Sheriff’s Office was not investigating the incident as an arson.

Two witnesses, he said, allegedly saw lightning strike the church.

Additional information posted on the Courtland Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page indicates that CVFD Capt. Matt Nixon operated on the scene for approximately five hours that evening assisting with fire attack and overhaul operations for the duration of the event.

When asked for comments, Nixon confirmed to The Tidewater News that the building had been burned beyond repair and was being considered a total loss, but said he could not provide additional details because the incident took place in the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department’s first-run area, meaning they were in charge.

Representatives of the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department did not respond to requests for comments by press time. This is an ongoing story and more details will be provided as they are learned.