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First Baptist Church in Montgomery to hold Sunday service in parking lot

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 7:05 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -First Baptist Church in Montgomery has decided how it’s going to hold Sunday service.

Church leaders say for now they will hold only one service Sunday at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot directly across the street from the church. Pastor Mark Bethea says he’s not sure if the parking lot service will be a one-time event or a temporary site until further notice. Clean-up crews will spend the next few weeks ridding the church of smoke while repairs are made. An arsonist deliberately set four fires early Thursday around 2:30 a.m.

“The damage from the soot is extensive and thankfully the damage to the building is very minimal but the smoke and soot has gone throughout the church, so they’re still assessing looking at everything that needs to be replaced and seeing what needs to be cleaned,” said Bethea.

Bethea says the church has a pretty good idea how the alleged arsonist or arsonists got inside but is leaving that up to arson investigators whether to reveal that information. As of right now no one has been arrested in connection to the fires. No known motive at this time.

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