Church Members React to Arrest of Arson Suspects - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

East Alabama

Church Members React to Arrest of Arson Suspects

EAST ALABAMA (WTVM) - Three people are now in custody, charged with setting three East Alabama churches on fire last February. Investigators say more arrests could be on the horizon. Church members say they can forgive, but will struggle to forget.

"Sure I'm upset for them, they messed up big time," said Leigh Deshields, a member of Pitts Chapel in Lee County.

She wants to know why 20-year olds Christopher Ware and Taylor Jennings with Cody Jasper all of Auburn allegedly set fire to the one hundred and eleven year old church, back in February. The church has since been repaired, but Deshileds still struggles with what happened. Her sadness and frustration poured out in a stream of tears during our interview.

"Because people do stuff like this it makes me mad, sad, irritated, I don't know why people have to be that way," she cried.

"I do forgive them, because God says vengeance is mine I will repay says the Lord," said Leo Douglass, the supervisor for Union Hill CME and Liberty CME churches in Chambers County.

Both churches were leveled by the fires, and will have to be rebuilt. Douglass is thankful three arrests have been made.

"We are grateful and this process can move forward in the judicial system," Douglass said.

Douglass said the two congregations are also moving forward, to rebuild where they worship. He hopes to hold a groundbreaking sometime in June.

Meanwhile, investigators have not released how they tracked the three suspects or a possible motive. We hope to learn a lot more at a news conference next week.

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