Galax church reaches out to family after fire claims three children

Galax church reaches out to family after fire claims three children


News updates:
Funeral on March 15
Fire ruled accidental


GALAX, Va. (March 12, 2015) – A United Methodist congregation and pastor are helping to care for a family grieving the loss of three children in a March 5 house fire.

The Rev. John Grimm and Mount Olivet United Methodist Church are reaching out to the surviving child and parents, who are related to a family in the congregation. The deceased children had attended vacation bible school and worship at Mount Olivet, Grimm said.

Dominic Delp, age 7, Ryleigh Delp, 4, and Randy Delp, nine months old, died after an early-morning fire claimed their Carroll County home last week.

Gabriel Delp, age 5, survived. While his parents were at the hospital, the child was cared for and fed by the congregation at Mount Olivet, Grimm said. “They made sure he had clothes, because he didn’t have anything after the fire.”

The parents, Trenton and Amanda Delp, came to the church on the night of March 5 to see their son, eat, and visit with extending family, Grimm said.

In the week since the fire, Grimm has spent many hours with the parents. A funeral will not be set until the last of the bodies are released by the medical examiner, he said. “[The Delps] do have much to do in these days before the funeral.”

Grimm is working with pastors of three other churches to plan the funeral: First Assembly of God in Galax, Va.; Independence Church of God of Prophecy in Independence, Va.; and Centerview Pentecostal Holiness Church in Fries, Va.

In the meantime, a visitation with the family has been set for 5-8 p.m. on March 12 at the First Assembly of God in Galax.

“The community is definitely grieving with this family,” Grimm said. The family has received housing, clothing, household items and toys.

In addition, Mount Olivet has set up an account. Checks may be sent to: Grayson National Bank, 209 W. Grayson Street, Galax, VA 24333. (Write “Delp Family” on the memo line.)

Grimm said he appreciated the prayers for him and his congregation, shared by other pastors in the Wytheville District and beyond. “It’s a great comfort. Handling one funeral at a time is stressful enough. Handling three is something else.”

See related March 8 blog, "Faith and Crisis."