Bishop: Church Fire Could Be ‘Hate Crime’


UPDATED: Saturday August 18, 2012 6:25 PM

A church was leveled by flames early Friday morning.

Investigators said that the South Bloomingville Christian Church, located along state Route 664, caught fire around 3 a.m.

They believe the fire was intentionally set.

Bishop Scott Davis said that he believes the church was a target of hate crime because the church was openly accepting of the LGBT community.

“Our focused goal when we opened up the parish was to be an accepting and affirming church for everybody in the community,” Davis said. “We love you, accept you. We want you to come into the church.”

Davis said that he purchased the church two years ago from a member of the community.

According to public records, Davis has a lengthy criminal history.

“I used to be a stripper, out at the bars, I did all of that,” Davis said. “This is where I am now, and this is where God has taken me.”

Fire marshals planned to investigate the scene.

In all, 19 firefighters responded to the scene, but there was no saving the church. All that remains of the structure are the front steps and a wall.

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