Officials: Mount Holly Pastor Dies From Injuries Sustained In House Fire

The Latest:

Goshen Free Will Baptist Church’s pastor Clayton Burch died from the injuries he sustained in a house fire, according to church officials.

A memorial service for Burch will be held this Saturday, December 8th at 2pm.

No other details have been released at this time.  Read below for more information.

UPDATE (12/5):

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. — Goshen Free Will Baptist Church will hold a vigil for their pastor this evening during its regular Wednesday worship.

Pastor Clayton Burch suffered serious injuries after a fire burned through his home Tuesday morning. His home sits right next to the church.

Burch was flown to Wake Forest Burn Center and his wife is now out of the hospital and recovering.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

We’ll continue to update as more information develops.


MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. – Members of a local church are praying for their pastor tonight after a fire left him with serious injuries. The fire burned the parsonage next to Goshen Free Will Baptist Church in Mt. Holly.

“I immediately got that sick feeling. Just almost like unbelief. You don’t believe, it’s hard just to imagine,” says Jenny Dowdle.

Heartbreak for Dowdle at the church she grew up attending.

“And then when I pulled up and actually saw it myself, it’s just heart wrenching,” she says.

Investigators say the pastor, Clayton Burch, has serious injuries after a fire started around 3:00 on Tuesday morning.

It burned through the parsonage where he and his wife live next to Goshen Free Will Baptist.

“It really, it really hurts,” says Posey Williams

Williams often attends gospel singings at the church.

He and others say the pastor is known for being energetic and friendly and for wearing brightly colored suits.

“He dressed super nice. Kept every hair in place, but he was a God-fearing man, he was a good pastor,” Williams says.

Burch was flown to the Wake Forest Burn Center. His wife Barbara is out of the hospital.

“He loves, he loves people,” says Mickey Spargo.

He says it’s so hard because he thinks of the pastor as family.

“It’s a disheartening thing. Anything like this to happen to anybody, really. Especially right here at Christmas,” Spargo says.

Investigators don’t know how the fire started, but say it does not appear to be intentionally set.

They say figuring out the cause will be a slow process because there is so much damage.