Since January 1, 2010, 11 churches have been burnt to the ground in and around Athens, Texas and the authorities are nowhere near to making an arrest. Today they have released drawings of "persons of interest" and hopefully this terrible chapter of church burning will now come to an end within a short time. The "persons of interest" look so very young and innocent. What has gone wrong with our youth?
Churches burned since Jan. 1 in the area about 50 miles southeast of Dallas include:
Little Hope Baptist Church in Canton, which, ironically, burned after a New Year's Eve showing of the film "Fireproof." It is one of the few fires in the string that is not believed to be linked to arson
Faith Church, Athens, Jan. 1
Grace Community Church of Athens, Jan. 12
Lake Athens Baptist Church, Jan. 12
Tyland Baptist Church, Tyler, Jan. 16
First Church of Christ Scientist, Tyler, Jan. 17
Prairie Creek Fellowship, Lindale, Jan. 20
Russell Memorial United Methodist Church, Wills Point, Feb. 4
Dover Baptist Church, Carroll, Feb. 8
Clear Springs Missionary Baptist Church, Lindale, Feb. 8.
In central Texas, closer to Austin, a fire that gutted the historic sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Temple on Jan. 19 has also been determined to be arson, but authorities do not suspect it was the work of the same fire starter.