MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - It has been said that if you had never met Pastor Clayton Burch before, you'd know him when you saw him.
‘He would always get out there in his bright coats. He'd never take them off,” one member of Pastor Burch’s congregation remembered.
That was one among many things that brought smiles among tears to this congregation. Pastor Burch died of his injuries after a fire at his home Tuesday morning. The parsonage, right next door to the church, is now a shell of what it was.
The news of the pastor's death hit the congregation of Goshen Free Will Baptist Church and the community itself hard, and many simply couldn't hold back the tears.
He made himself a part of Mount Holly, and even a part of the lives of fellow pastors.
“We also shared stories because we were both from eastern North Carolina, and we would often talk about who would have the best barbecue,” Kendell Cameron of First Baptist Church of Mount Holly told FOX 46.
First Baptist Church of Mount Holly caught fire itself, two years ago. Cameron says tmoving forward has been tough, and it will be even tougher for the church down the road from him.
“That’s a thing that Goshen Church and the Burch family are going to have to be asking for a long time...’how long? How long?’ Cameron said.
there's still a sense of unfinished business.
“I’m sure pastor burch, in his heart, believed he had many sermons left,” churchgoer Ron Rikard said,
But what he did, no one will ever forget.
“He had a heart of gold. He was a good, wonderful pastor,” said Steve Lingerfelt, who knew the pastor well.
While he may be gone, it’s clear that he'll live on in the hearts of the members of his church and the Mount Holly community.