Another Church Says They Were Arson Target

Phenix City, AL (WTVM)  - There is word of still another act of church vandalism.  After seeing and hearing recent news of three church arsons, a local pastor now suspects his church may have been hit by the same vandals.

Nearly one month ago, Saint Mark Free Will Baptist Church Pastor Danny Ryals got a call from Phenix City Police at 4 am to find out someone had set one of his church vans on fire, and now, he believes this fire could be connected to recent church arsons in the area.

At first glance, this old church van looks discarded among other broken down vehicles, but that's not the reason it's in this junk yard. Pastor Danny Ryals says he didn't become suspicious until the last few days.

"I didn't think much of it until all of this started happening and then I began to seems to be in the same area so that made me suspicious," said Ryals.

In the same area where a fire at Woodland Baptist Church was ruled arson Friday morning, and it's just down the road from Ryals' church.

"The reason I think it happens to the small churches in secluded areas is because we don't have security like the others do. We're kinda off the beaten path and it's an easy target"

Ryals says it's time for the community to come together and has a message for other churches.

"Don't be afraid to talk about this. If somethings going on around your church, the only way we're going to get through this is to stick together."

And for the arsonists.

"As far as our church is concerned, we've prayed for them and asked God to speak to their hearts and forgive them."

Pastor Ryals says the van is a total loss, and damage sustained to the other van is estimated at nearly $1,500.