LCFD continuing investigation after reported arson at New Shiloh Baptist Church

LCFD continuing investigation after reported arson at New Shiloh Baptist Church

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Fire Department is continuing to investigate an arson attempt and vandalism that took place at New Shiloh Baptist Church on May 22.

“For a person to do something like that, they don’t care about God," Zachary Modest, a longtime church member said.

Modest recounts the moment he walked into the church and noticed the damage.

“I seen these two windows knocked out and I said that’s odd so I backed up and called the pastor," Modest said. “When we got in the church to check it out, we found a 5-gallon bucket down here on the floor and two rolls of toilet tissue, where someone had tried to start a fire.”

This isn’t the first time the New Shiloh congregation has had to deal with the setback of a fire. In 2010, an electrical fire, according to Pastor Barry Thomas caused widespread damage to their sanctuary when the church was located on 5th Avenue.

Although this latest fire was sparked by cruel intentions, Thomas and his members are just thankful the damage never made it past the church floor.

“We have three burnt spots, and like I said, they really never got it, whoever did it never got it ignited," Modest said.

So far, surveillance video from the May 22 event hasn’t served much help in catching the suspect, however officials were able to give a detailed account of the vehicle that they were driving.

“From what we could tell in the footage it looked like an early 2000 model Chevy Monte Carlo, looked to be silver, with two black racing stripes that ran from the hood to the trunk,” Caldwell Fontenot, Lake Charles Fire Department case investigator, said.

Although a feeling of somberness lingers in the building, Modest said their spirits are high.

“But the one thing I thought about is that we’re blessed--that it wasn’t us," Modest said.

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