Church Arson Under Investigation In Russell County

Jan. 2, 2008

RUSSELL COUNTY, Al (WTVM)- Investigators are trying to find the person who set fire to "Greater Peace and Goodwill AME church" on Brown Road in Crawford.

Church members spent Wednesday afternoon praying for the person responsible for setting their church on fire.  Reverend James Parker says the last couple of days have tested his congregation, but they are staying faithful.  "We are just thankful it was just interior damage and the structure is still standing.  Its a blessing," said Parker

Church members say when they got the news, they had several thoughts running through their minds.  "Where are we going to have service.  I just know we have had such a good time this building and just the thought we are not going to be able to meet this Sunday like we do every Sunday," said Church Member Christopher Bellamy.

"At this point it does look suspicious and we do have reason to believe someone broke into the church.  It appears someone lit the church in several different places," said Russell Co. Lt. Heath Taylor.

The congregation says even though the building went up in flames, their spirits have not been tarnished.  "It might have brought us down a little, but it didn't kill our spirit.  We still love God and there is a blessing out of this.  Even though the act was bad, a blessing will coming out of it," said Bellamy.

Right now, Sheriff Investigators don't have a suspect at this time, however if you have any information call the sheriff's department at 334-298-6535.