Investigators: Church fire was arson

| July 8, 2012

State and local investigators said Friday that the destruction of a downtown Jacksonville church earlier this week was the result of arson.

While the exact cause of the fire has not been determined, the blaze began early Thursday morning in the fellowship hall of the church building and was set intentionally, said Brian Kelly, assistant fire marshal with the Jacksonville Department of Public Safety.

Kelly said investigators ruled out all other possibilities, including stray fireworks, careless owners and homeless squatters.

The announcement confirms what was suspected by Joseph Morgan, a retired Marine who began Wings of Faith Ministries in 2002 and purchased the now-destroyed building in 2005.

He said the criminal element in the New River area didn’t like what the church stood for and the changes the church was trying to implement — so they burned it down.

Kelly confirmed there was a break-in at the church on June 9 that may be related to the fire.

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Category: Church Security

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