franklin masonic lodge, lebanon new hampshire, more light in masonry, jon sage, jon patrick sage, fire destroys church.

Church Destroyed By Fire Finds Home At Masonic Temple

January 2, 2017- By: Jon Patrick Sage

In what began as tragedy last Wednesday on December 29, 2016, there emerges at least some glimmer of hope- if, for nothing else, than a Church displaced will enjoy a place of worship and meeting in the interim. The First Baptist Church in Lebanon, New Hampshire was destroyed by fire last week. But, just down the street, a neighbor made room for the congregation.  Franklin Lodge #6 F. & A.M.,  has graciously agreed the First Baptist Church a place of meeting for that congregation during this difficult time.

Accordingly, New Year’s Services we held yesterday on January 1, 2017. Although the furnishing of a Lodge might be very different than that of a Baptist Sanctuary, many of their meaning hold the same truths. Element of fellowship, acceptance, and Brotherly Love are apparent in every Lodge room, and have truly shown forth in ways that the world without is usually unprepared or unable to see.

Kudos go out to the Brethren of Franklin Lodge #6, for they have fully grasped the meaning of what it means to be a longtime member of the community and indeed, the world at large. As Masons, our tenets are not confined only to those who may pass through the West Gate. It is quite to the contrary that we should display what is often our very best attributes to those who might otherwise never set foot inside a Masonic Temple. In this way, our Profession and Character might be known by the admirable qualities that we possess and more importantly by the example and assistance that we give freely to any in need.

An arrest has been made in connection with this fire although investigation is ongoing.

Find the original story at Valley News, and late reports at CBS News: 

“LEBANON, New Hampshire (CBS) — An arson arrest was made in the fire that destroyed a historic church last week.

Anthony Boisvert, 27, was taken into custody Sunday night.

Anthony Boisvert. (Lebanon Police)

Anthony Boisvert. (Lebanon Police)

He is being charged with arson and first degree assault, though authorities said more charges might follow.

Police said he deliberately set fire to the First Baptist Church on School Street in Lebanon, which was built in the 1800s–and they say he also stabbed a 52-year-old man and 66-year-old woman at a nearby condo complex shortly before he was attested Sunday.

Flames tore through the church shortly after 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29.


The historic First Baptist Church in Lebanon, New Hampshire, which was destroyed in a fire last Wednesday. (WBZ-TV)

The historic First Baptist Church in Lebanon, New Hampshire, which was destroyed in a fire last Wednesday. (WBZ-TV)

The church was completely destroyed in the three-alarm blaze, which collapsed the building’s roof and left authorities worried about the danger of the steeple and its 1,600-pound bell falling on nearby homes.

A second fire was reported about an hour later in the basement of a building on Mascoma Street, where a couch had been set on fire. That fire was extinguished by sprinklers before firefighters arrived.

Nobody was injured in either fire. Investigators found both blazes to be suspicious.

Boisvert was named as a person of interest, but authorities soon found he had fled the area.

The fire completely destroyed Lebanon's First Baptist Church. (Photo courtesy Michael Mason)

The fire completely destroyed Lebanon’s First Baptist Church. (Photo courtesy Michael Mason)

Around 9:10 p.m. on New Year’s Day, Lebanon Police responded to a stabbing at the Boulder’s Condominium Complex on Wolf Road. The man and woman, who both had multiple, serious stab wounds, were able to identify Boisvert as their attacker, and said he had fled on foot.

The man and woman are being treated at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, and police said their injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.

With the assistance of a K-9 unit, Boisvert was found and arrested on Tannery Lane around 10:15 p.m.

Lebanon Police said Boisvert also set a fire that completely destroyed an abandoned building on Hanover Street Extension in January of 2016.

He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Lebanon District Court.”