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Arson suspected in 2 more TX church fires

ICC Note

Since January 1, seven churches have been burned down in East Texas . Federal and state officials are investigating the arson attacks against the churches as other churches in the area beef up their security by deploying more guards.

By Jerry Pierce

01/19/2010 United States (BP)-The number of suspicious fires at churches in East Texas has climbed to seven as federal investigators join state and local authorities in seeking clues to two blazes in Tyler , Texas .

The latest fires were at the Tyland Baptist Church and the First Church of Christ, Scientist, both in Tyler . Tyland is the third Southern Baptist church to burn in what investigators believe is a string of arsons. Both fires took place the weekend of Jan. 16-17.

Tyland Baptist Church Pastor David E. Mahfood posted a statement on the church’s website: “Dear Friends, as most of you know, our beloved church building was consumed by fire on Saturday evening, January 16. We grieve the loss of church home, the place that we loved and shared so many memories with our church family. It was a very special place to all of us, and our emotions at this time are varied and many.

“‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.'”

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