Danville, VA Baptist Church Fire, June 1971

The Burning Church


Danville, Va. -- DR. VICTOR E. MANTIPLY, pastor of Moffett Memorial Baptist Church, intently watched as fire last night destroyed the sanctuary of the church.
Seven trucks and all off-duty personnel were rushed to the scene shortly after the 11:15 p.m. call to control the blazes. The firemen were successful in restraining the fire from adjacent church buildings and a nearby home.
The sanctuary of the 82-year-old church was totally destroyed. The only thing found remaining this morning was the Bible which had fallen to the floor after the Lectern supporting it had burned out from beneath it.
Efforts of the local fire department in contained the flames to the one building. No injuries were reported from the many spectators but many of the firemen and rescue workers suffered blistered feet from the heat, small cuts and nail punctures, said Fire Chief W. C. (TEX) BRAY.
The fire was started by a bolt of lightning during one of the severe electrical storms that moved through the area.

The Bee Danville Virginia 1971-06-30


Hi, Richard: Do you

Hi, Richard:

Do you remember my parents, Paul and Sharon Bowen?


Moffett fire

Photo was taken by Danville Register & Bee staff photogrpher Leon Townsend who is also a member of the church..Leon turned 89 years old April 7, 2009 is still attends the church . I remember the night as I was cruising around with guys that were in my sunday school class there and we talked with Leon as the fire raged . I later became a staff photographer for the paper in the late 70's till I retired from the position in Nov.2007 .

My father was Minister of

My father was Minister of music and youth at Moffett in 1971. I was just short of my fourth birthday when the fire happened. I saw the results the morning after and I have never forgotten it in all these years. Most of my earliest memories center around the building that burned. A three year old's world is very small.

Charles Bowen