By Brian Blackwell, Message staff writer
BANCROFT, La. (LBM) – When all hope was fading, the Father in Heaven intervened to protect the Brushy Creek Baptist Church facility from a wildfire that came as close as 50 feet in late August, according to Pastor Mike Streams.
“It was a miracle from God,” Streams told the Baptist Message. “About the time the firefighters could no longer control the fire from coming across the road and to the church, the good Lord switched the wind and killed it. It was an amazing thing to see God work through it all. I don’t see how God did it, but he did.”
Like much of Beauregard Parish, Brushy Creek’s grounds had not received any measurable rain since mid-July. On Aug. 22, the dry conditions in the region were exploited by arson, according to the Louisiana State Department of Agriculture and Forestry, which determined the wildfire was deliberately caused. The blazes began to engulf the area near Brushy Creek in the Bancroft community. Initially, firefighters were able to contain the conflagration. However, on Aug. 25 the flames on the other side of the road nearly jumped across the pavement and threatened to move toward the congregation’s building.
Streams arrived on the scene that evening and was in tears as he saw the firefighters doing their best to save the church facility, which had just been rebuilt earlier in the year after experiencing severe damage from Hurricane Laura in August 2020.
“The first thing that ran through mind was ‘Lord, whatever you want is fine, but I don’t want to rebuild again,’” he said. “He supplied and we are still standing. My congregation is a praying bunch of folks and God provided through all of this.”
The firefighters remained at the facility throughout the weekend and on Sunday morning, 62 individuals (mostly church members along with a few firefighters and Beauregard Baptist Associational Missions Strategist Tom Bruce, who brought the message) gathered for a special service of fellowship and thanksgiving.
Streams said he is grateful for the prayers of thousands, the faith of his church, Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief team members who provided food and water for the firefighters and the dedication of firefighters who worked for 72 consecutive hours to protect the structure from harm’s way.
“We had people praying for us all over the United States,” Streams said. “It’s amazing the people that have reached out to let us know they were praying for us, for God’s church and for the firefighters.
“I said, ‘Whatever God does, it will be okay because God is going to do it,’” he continued. “I have shed a few tears and it’s been stressful. Getting a lot of my congregation that is elderly to safety was stressful. But we pulled together and worked to accomplish way more than we thought we could.
“And, if God had not provided the firemen, I believe our structure would have burned,” he said. “I can’t say enough about how they were here through thick and thin. They have been our angels without wings.”
Through the trials, Streams was reminded never to doubt God.
“When I saw the flames Friday, I said, ‘Okay, Lord, it’s yours. You do with it what you want,” he said. “I thought then the building would be gone. Now I look back and say, ‘Oh me of little faith.’
“I also was reminded that when you ask God specifically for something, start looking for it,” he continued. “We asked for rain and He sent it where it was most needed. To see God work in such a miraculous way and have His hand of protection on us is something I never will forget.”