Florida man accused of arson at Christian school

JEFF TURNER

A Florida man has been arrested after investigators say he set fires on the property of a Christian school.

Jail Records show Joshua James Gipson, of Perry, Florida, is charged with arson and criminal mischief resulting in property damage to a religious building for a fire at the Point of Grace Christian School. (Jail record posted below) A police report claims Gipson set fire to the school office and a bus. He is also accused of attempting to set fire to other vehicles on the property.

No motive behind the criminal act has been announced.

[+]806.01.1PPD22OFF006024 (PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT)ARSONFF$0.00CASH$0.00
[+]806.01.2PPD22OFF006024 (PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT)ARSONSF$30000.00CASH$0.00
[+]806.13.2PPD22OFF006024 (PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT)DAMAGE PROP-CRIM MISCHTF$5000.00CASH$0.00
[+]810.02.2bPPD22OFF006024 (PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT)BURGLFF$0.00CASH$0.00
[+]812.014.2c1PPD22OFF006024 (PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT)LARCTF$0.00$0.00
[+]810.02.4aPPD22OFF006024 (PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT)BURGLTF$0.00$0.00
[+]948.0622-45CF (TAYLOR COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)PROB VIOLATIONNN$0.00$0.00
Information from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division

U.S.: Arson investigators work to determine cause of Alabama church fire

JEFF TURNER

Arson investigators in Alabama are working to determine if a fire at a Baptist church was intentionally set.

The church building of New Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Hueytown, Alabama is a total loss as a result of a fire on 5 August.

Hueytown is a community of slightly more than 15,000 people.  The local fire department was assisted by firefighters from Bessemer, Alabama which is a larger neighboring city.

No injuries were reported.

The congregation plans to hold Sunday services at a nearby community center.

U.S. Baptist Church returns to sanctuary nearly a year after arson attack

TIMOTHY DUFF

A congregation in Montgomery, Alabama has returned to its sanctuary eight months after an arsonist attempted to burn it down.

(This Facebook post was made one day after the fire)

The church service began with the baptism of a young child who gave his life to Christ.

Federal authorities in the United States say Xiaoquin Yan, 27, set four fires inside the First Baptist Church of Montgomery on September 30, 2021. She’s now facing federal charges. If convicted on the federal charges, Yan faces a prison sentence of between 5-20 years in prison.

The church has served the Montgomery, Alabama area for nearly 200 years.

Historic chapel set ablaze in Georgia, US officials seek arsonist

1/11/2021 UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that inspectors have confirmed the fire was intentionally set.

Jeff Turner

Authorities in the US say a fire at an historic chapel in Georgia was intentionally set.

A spokesperson for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said emergency crews were called to the Smith Chapel Church in Bowdon, Georgia around 12 p.m. Monday. The church building was fully engulfed in flame when the first emergency worker arrived.

“We believe at this point the fire was intentionally set and we are asking anyone who was in the area and may have witnessed anything unusual between 10 am and 2 pm to contact Investigator Brandon Wiggins,” said the spokesperson.

The sheriff’s office as of Tuesday afternoon has not determined a motive for the crime.

Historic Rural Churches is an organization that seeks to document and preserve historic church buildings.  Its website says the chapel has stood since 1851.

US offers $50K reward in church arson

Officials in the US are offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person (or persons) who burned a church building.

A press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation says the arson attack happened Sept. 17, 2020 at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco.

“This act of violence was not just an attack on a building, but on a congregation. This was an attack on a community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair. “We are counting on assistance from members of the community to keep our city safe. Every lead will be thoroughly investigated. Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be, we strongly encourage you to come forward and we welcome your information and assistance.”

The FBI has jurisdiction to investigate fires set at houses of worship under the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for those who wish to donate to the church.