An arson at a Winston County, Mississippi church office remains under investigation.
The fire was reported Wednesday at the New Zion Baptist Church around 7:30 a.m. Investigators determined someone pushed in a window to get in the building. Once inside, they set fire to couch cushions in an office. The fire did not spread and only smoldering cushions were discovered when staff arrived.
Officials have not yet determined a suspect or a motive. A reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of the criminal who started the fire. Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Winston County Crime Stoppers at 662-773-9999.
The fire was intentionally set in December at the New Life Worship Center in Smithfield, RI. According to a report from WPRI Television, surveillance video captured a blue SUV driving onto church property before sunrise Dec. 18 when the fire was set. A file story from WLNE says no one was in the building when the fire started.
Investigators have not determined a motive behind the criminal act.
According to a report from WFMJ, a 16-year-old admitted setting a fire on the porch of the Clark Trinity United Methodist church last month. Hermitage police Chief Eric Jewell would not say if the teen arrested was male or female, according to the Sharon Herald.
Damage to the church building was estimated at $13,000, according to Texas Gospel file stories.
The teen charged faces one count of second degree felony arson.
The Grand Rapids Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating an apparent arson at a church building in Michigan. The damage was discovered Sunday morning before church members arrived.
An arson investigator said it appears a fire, which did not spread past the front entrance of Servant’s Community Church, was set intentionally according to Michigan Alive. ABC 13 said arson is suspected because there is no other reason for a door to ignite.
A post to the church’s Facebook page says, “We are saddened by an act of arson last night that caused significant damage to our front doors. Our front doors are a symbol of welcome into God’s love in this lost and broken world. We still stand as a beacon of that love right here on the corner of Watson and Deloney. All are welcome here. We held our regular worship service this morning and look forward to hosting our community meal as normal on Wednesday.”
“I was kind of hurt because this is a family church,” said church member Vern North to Wood TV. “I couldn’t understand why someone would do this to the church,” he said.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call 616-774-2345 or 616-456-3900.
Florida authorities have not yet determined the motive of a man they say tried to set a church building on fire knowing that a person was inside, according to a report from News 6 in Florida. The station identifies the man as Daron Sanders, 21.