Arson hits Kingsland church already targeted by vandals during Easter

KINGSLAND — Although someone set their church on fire less than 48 hours earlier, members of the First Baptist Church of Kingsland felt like celebrating during their July 17 service.

"On Sunday morning, we celebrated that God protected us — that we still had a building," said the Rev. Bubba Stahl. "God intervened and put the fire out."

The blaze caused only minimal damage in a hallway, he said.

However, this latest criminal incident comes just four months after burglars vandalized the church during Easter.

The arson is being investigated by the Llano County Sheriff’s Office, the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said sheriff’s Chief Deputy John Neff.

ATF is involved in the probe because the arson targeted a religious establishment — making it a federal crime, Stahl said.

The incident apparently took place overnight July 15-16 when somebody broke into the church, 3435 RR 1431, and set fire to a construction paper display that covered a wall near the back door in the Family Life Building, deputies said.

 

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