‘God’s in control’: Dry Creek Baptist Camp looks to future after historic White House burns down

The White House in Beauregard Parish was destroyed in a fire during the ice storms last week.
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:18 PM CST
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DRY CREEK, La. (KALB) - Growing up, there’s always that special place or building with a lot of good memories, or maybe a place that’s the symbol of a community. In Beauregard Parish, that’s what the White House meant to the Dry Creek community and the Dry Creek Baptist Camp.

But now it’s gone. It was destroyed in a fire during the ice storms last week.

“We are reeling, trying to figure out our emotions,” said Todd Burnaman, Manager at Dry Creek Baptist Camp.

The White House caught fire on February 17. Burnaman said once it caught fire, there was no saving it.

“The building was already totally engulfed when I got down here,” said Burnaman. “Every square inch of the building was on fire when I got down here. It’s 100 years old, built out of virgin pine. The building was just full of fuel, so there was no way to save that building.”

The fire is currently under investigation, but Burnaman said he believes it’s weather-related.

The building has been a part of the community for more than 100 years. It was first the Dry Creek High School building in the early 1900′s, but for the past few decades, it has been used by Dry Creek Baptist Camp.

“It was nothing for us to have a person stop by and have their great-grandkids be in town from out of state and want to take them through the old school building,” said Burnaman. “It was a place to take care of people, to bring them here where they can have an opportunity to meet with the Lord, retreat and get away from life.”

Burnaman said they have already been working to repair the building from the recent hurricanes. It was one of several buildings damaged on the campus. Burnaman says there’s approximately $750,000 in damages. They were hoping to reopen the White House by Easter.

“We spent a lot of energy, we spent a lot of money-saving the building after the hurricane and here we are,” said Burnaman.

A GoFundMe account has already been set up to raise money for a new building. Burnaman also said several churches have already reached out to help.

“God’s in control, he has a plan so we are asking him to give us a vision because we want to be about his work,” said Burnaman.

Burnaman said optimistically, they hope to have a groundbreaking on a new building in this spot in about a year. He says they would like it to match the architecture of the old building.

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