HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A Hernando County pastor is receiving help from his congregation after a fire destroyed his home the day after Christmas.

  • Oliver Bevins, family, out of town when fire occurred
  • Fire rescue officials call fire suspicious
  • Church community set up donations page on Facebook
  • More Hernando County stories

Oliver Bevins and his family were out of town over Christmas. No one was in the house when the fire destroyed it in the early morning hours of December 26.  

Representatives with Hernando County Fire Rescue say the fire has been deemed suspicious. 

New Hope Baptist Church Pastor Oliver Bevins was shocked when he saw what’s left of his home on Sunday. 

“Some would say ‘well, it’s a single wide trailer,’" Bevins said. "Well, it was home for almost 30 years and now it’s nothing.” 

Not everything was lost, however. Some of Bevins trucks he uses for his tree service business are intact, and even a few family photos survived the flames. 

Bevins and his family are not going through this difficulty alone, either. Ever since the fire broke out, Bevins’s church community has been doing what they can to help, offering him and his family places to stay and starting a collection for them during their church services. 

Some of Bevins’ church members have also set up a donation site on Facebook to help the family. 

“The generosity and the support that we’re getting from the church members and friends and family and everybody else is such that no matter what happens to ya, you’re going to be OK,” Bevins said. 

“I keep feeling like my normal reaction would be to look down, but I know I need to keep looking up, and I keep looking up and I know that God has a plan for my life and he’s going to do what needs to be done,” he added.