Skip to comments.UPDATE: Church Fire Ruled as Arson; Congregation Concerned
Posted on 08/21/2011 6:55:54 PM PDT by Morgana
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A church service in Charleston stopped before it could even get started, Sunday.
The pastor of Pentecostal Affirming Ministries arrived before the afternoon service to find the building full of smoke. Click here to find out more!
Now, fire officials have determined it to be an attempted arson.
Members of the congregation just had the building donated to them about a month ago.
Moving into an older building, they already have a long list of renovations, and now they have an even bigger mess to clean up.
The whole church just smelled horrible and was just completely filled with smoke, Sarah McDougall, a member said.
When Pastor Tiffany Brashear arrived for Sunday afternoon's service, she found a bag of clothes on fire in the basement.
The clothes had been donated and were meant for people who need them. In starting up the new church, members are also starting a clothing and hygiene closet, a food pantry and a day center for the homeless.
We're just really disappointed that someone would do this to a church in this community; especially a church that's trying as hard as we can to reach out to everybody that we can, McDougall said.
The churchs motto is one church, one faith, one family. Their acceptance of all races, social statuses and sexuality is what Brashear believes may have fueled the fire.
I think there are people in the community that's not so accepting of and welcoming of maybe this type of church, Brashear said. I don't want to say it was a hate crime, but I don't even really know what to say at this point.
I don't see anybody that could damage a god's house, music director Jeff Simpson said.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsaz.com ...
The government hates competition in the hand out department. The church might as questions like “can we help you get a job?” “can we help you get off drugs?” “Do you really need this with 24”s on your 2011 Yukon?” and things like that.
Ya think this will be charged as a hate crime?
Pastor is white.
I’m afraid more of this will be happening.
We have had several churches burned in this area. It’s mostly young punks/druggies who have no sense of right and wrong. Sent three to jail from Mason, WV recently for burning down a 150 yr old church to the ground. Sad.
Wow. Just wow.