Arson: Fourth Alberta church burns just days before Christmas
Yet another church burns just days before Christmas in Alberta.

Jeremiah Church

December 28, 2023

In the early hours of December 20th, the Beiseker Level-Land Seventh-Day Adventist Church was burned down, deemed arson by a fire investigator.

Arson: Fourth Alberta church burns just days before Christmas

The RCMP received a call of a fire at 6:24 a.m. at the Beiseker Church located on Range Road 242 in Wheatland County, as per local reports.

The Deputy Fire Chief of the local Fire Department, Darcy Burke, said the building was fully engulfed by the time his crew arrived.  

“It’s a very tight-knit community, and they were very impacted by losing their church. It’s the center of their community,” he said.

The RCMP are now investigating and are seeking public assistance in locating the perpetrator(s).

Parishioners and villagers heartbroken over church burning

Pastor Rod Davis said that he and his congregation were devastated by the loss of the church, but were thankful for the support and communication from those expressing their sympathies.  

Davis continued to say that the church “lost a lot of stuff in that fire, some of it not replaceable at all,” adding that he is determined to somehow continue services in the coming weeks.

Many on social media mourned the destruction of the 1945 built church, with one post on Facebook saying, “What looks to most people to be an ordinary church has no idea what it means to have grown up here.”

The post continued, “It wasn’t just a church, it was a place people gathered to say goodbye to loved ones, a place to get married, a place many children were dedicated, a place were my cousins and I would play hide and go seek, a place my grandma would tickle my hands, a place full of singing, it was a family.”

Alberta’s fourth church burned to the ground in weeks

This comes after two churches near the town of Barrhead were burned within one hour of each other on December 7. The burning of St. Aidan’s church and The Pioneer Memorial Church were both results of arson according to Gary Hove, the Barrhead Regional Fire Services chief.

The third church that was burned was located on a Native reserve in Janvier Alberta, in which St. Gabriel Catholic Church was razed to the ground.  

Councilor Shane Janvier of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation said the fire was a result of arson.

“Enough is enough,” Janvier said standing in front of the church’s smoldering remains the morning after the blaze.The Beiseker Level-Land Seventh-Day Adventist Church was originally called the Rosebud Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was founded in 1908 by pioneering settlers that came from various parts of the Dakotas. The first service was originally conducted in a tent, but was eventually moved to a building.

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