A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Truth is Stranger than Fiction 2006.6

Police: Church Secretary Torched Church
From Associated Press
January 27, 2006 6:04 PM EST

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. - A fire that destroyed a church in September was set by the church secretary, police say. A spokesman with the Mountain Home Police Department said Thursday that Polly A. Warford, 65, confessed to setting multiple fires in the Green Valley Missionary Baptist Church on Sept. 24. The church was a total loss.

Warford is charged with arson, according to Mountain Home police Lt. Nevin Barnes.

He said Warford did not say what prompted her to start the blaze.

Warford was arrested Wednesday after a four-month investigation. She was being held at the Baxter County Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bond.

"She was a person of interest from the beginning," Barnes said Thursday. "We interviewed her three different times and then she finally confessed. It's very odd."

Barnes said fire department investigators found that the fire was burning about 45 minutes before it was reported, which coincides with the time that Warford left the church on Sept. 24.

The Rev. Remil Layton of Green Valley said he is shocked that Warford confessed to starting the fires in the church. He said Warford had worked at the church for several years.

"I'm still in a state of shock and surprise," Layton said, "but the congregation has held together pretty well.

Layton said church members have been meeting temporarily in a building about a block south of the church, but that construction began Thursday on a new church building at the site of the old church.

Layton said he hasn't spoken with Warford since her arrest, but that he hopes he will get to talk with her in the next few days.

"Whatever she tells me will stay between me and her," he said.

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