Truck plows into small Holden church

HOLDEN, LA (WAFB) - What were once front doors to the St. James Baptist Church in Holden are now covered by white plastic after a pickup truck reversed between two poles, through the front of the church.

Pastor Tex Guidry said last week, he was counting his blessings Hurricane Isaac spared the church.

"I said, 'Thank you lord. Nothing happened to the building,' and here we wake up to this," said Pastor Guidry.

Doors lying on the floor, entire boards splintered, bent nails, and broken pews are what church members woke up to Friday morning. The pastor and detectives do suspect foul play.

"It look like it was purposely done, and there are tire marks outside and inside when they left back out and came in backwards," said Pastor Guidry.

Detectives recovered a tail light and a diesel fuel cap from the scene. They believe a three quarter ton Dodge pickup truck is responsible. That's where deputies need the public's help - in keeping an eye out for a damaged truck.

Every Sunday, nearly 70 people, mainly seniors, congregate at the church and have been doing so for the past 66 years. Alice Hibbard grew up in the church, walked down the aisle and watched the building take in water during floods over the years, but nothing this extreme.

"It's really hard for me to think anyone would be that evil to come and do something like this," said Hibbard.

The broken parts of the truck were sent to the State Police Crime Lab.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office at 225-686-2241.

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