Arrests Bring Relief for Members of Burned Church

There's nothing left of the building that was once Ashby Baptist Church in Bibb County. Ashby was the first church targeted in the recent string of arsons.

As word of Tuesday's arrests spread, work crews were at the site putting the finishing touches on two temporary buildings that will be used for Sunday services.

"They were sent to us by the state board of missions of the Southern Baptist Convention in Montgomery," said pastor Jim Parker.

Parker says now, his congregation can worship in peace.

"We're just relieved. That's the word," he said.

With the three students arrested, members of Ashby Baptist Church say they now feel comfortable beginning the rebuilding process. They say their fears have finally been put to rest.

"I used to worry about it everyday," said one Bibb County Resident. "It was frightening."

But that fear quickly turned to disbelief.

"These were college students and I can't understand why someone with the mental fortitude to attend a college would do something like that for kicks."

The two dominant emotions are confusion and anger. But there is also a third emotion at work in Bibb County -- forgiveness.

"There will be permanent repercussions, but there's still hope for these young men, they're not hopeless," Pastor Parker said.

Reporter: Mark Bullock