A Message from Your Senior Pastor

I want to update you on our recovery from the fires at Broadmoor.

In the early morning hours of both April 1 and April 3, an arsonist attacked our church.

The April 1 fire destroyed the Scout Hut, located behind the Casual Worship Center. The April 3 fire destroyed the Administration Building, which ten of your pastors and ministry team worked from. This fire also caused substantial damage to both the Music Building and the east side of the Sanctuary.

Insurance claims were immediately filed after both fires and on Friday, April 3 ServPro, a fire and water cleanup and restoration company, was hired and immediately began the work of cleaning and mitigating the smoke and water damage.

Rev. Tom Cook has taken the lead in working with both our insurance company, Liberty Mutual, and ServPro.

ServPro has removed all contents from the Music Building and has begun the cleaning and restoration process. The good news is that it seems we will have lost very little, if any, of our vast collection of music, instruments, and our new choir robes should be good as new once they are laundered.

The Sanctuary smoke damage as well as damage to the roof due to the intense heat of the fire. It does not appear that the stained glass in the east transept was damaged. However, several of the double-paned windows surrounding it were shattered by the heat.

The Children’s Ministry Building did not receive any fire damage, but did suffer minor smoke damage. ServPro is beginning the process of cleaning this building as well.

I last spoke the fire investigators Thursday afternoon. This fire is their top priority and they are continuing to process the evidence collected from the fires. A person of interest was detained and held in custody from April 3 until April 11. While this person has been released, the police and fire departments are keeping close tabs on them. I will update you as soon as I have further updates about our case.

Law enforcement has recommended a number of security enhancements to us and these have been implemented. This includes, but is not limited to, on-site security personnel.
Will Starkey and the rest of our facilities team have begun working to modify the Community Ministries Building so that the ministry team can office in it as soon as the work-at-home orders are lifted.

We have been blessed to receive an incredibly generous gift from Albemarle Corporation, a chemical company that was formerly headquartered in Baton Rouge. They are giving us $30,000 - 40,000 worth of office furniture, enough to completely replace all that was lost in the fire.

In the coming days, contracts will be executed to remove the rubble from both the Scout Hut and the Administration Building. I will let you know when that work is scheduled to begin.

Last Tuesday, April 14 our Church Council met via the Zoom online meeting platform to hear the same information I am giving you in this email. At that meeting, I also provided them an overview of the process outlined in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church .

In a future email, I will brief you on all the steps we will need to follow as we rebuild. I do want you to know that our District Superintendent Rev. Ken Irby has given his written consent for us to begin rebuilding and, as soon as it is possible, we will have a Charge Conference to formally authorize the project and elect a Building Committee.

In a future email, I will also go into further detail to explain the process outlined in The Book of Discipline and, as soon as possible, share with you information about our insurance claim.

Many have asked about the best way to give to support our rebuilding efforts. You can give securely online through the church's website at www.broadmoormethodist.org/giving and select "Fire Recovery Fund". You may also write a check and mail to the church at 10230 Mollylea Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70815. Please write "Fire Recovery" on the memo line.

Friends, a terrible thing has happened to our church.

The good news of Easter is that the terrible things that happen in life are never the last things that happen. I know God will bring beauty out of these ashes and that our church will be even stronger and more united as we work together to rebuild our church.

Grace & Peace,

Rev. Donnie Wilkinson
How We Can Best Love Each Other
If you or a family member is sick, may have been directly exposed to the virus, or have traveled to a high-alert area (currently South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan), please follow the CDC guidelines and refrain from attending public events during the 14-day incubation period.

While meetings on campus are suspended, you can worship from the comfort of your home via our livestream on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

Our congregational care team remains committed to offering excellent care to our congregation but is suspending in-person visits to hospitals and nursing homes. If you get sick, have a death in the family, or have another emergency, please call the church office at 225-924-6269 and follow the prompts to leave a message for the pastor on call.

Please use this form if you have additional questions about Broadmoor United Methodist’s response to the coronavirus. You can also call Mary Saltzman at 225-924-6269.


  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
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