BOONEVILLE (KFSM) — A Booneville church caught fire Wednesday (Nov. 14) morning, but officials weren't aware of any injuries, according to the Logan County Sheriff's Office.
The pastor of the church says his congregation's bibles were stolen from his church moments before a fire was set. Booneville police say they arrested two men inside a vacant home for trespassing. Inside the home, they say they found items from the church.
Booneville firefighters and volunteer firefighters responded to the fire at Southside Assembly of God, officials said. The church is located at 690 S. Broadway Avenue.
Pastor Manuel Mann started the church 35 years ago.
“We don't have a place to have church tonight, but you know the real church is the people, so we'll figure out something and get back in action as soon as we can,” he said.
Jamie Crawford lives across the street from the church, which she said is also used as a meeting place for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups in the community. She filmed the fire as smoke and flames billowed from the brick church.
"Firefighters are hard at work to put her out, but there's not going to be anything left," she says in the video, the emotion in her voice.
Crawford said the fire started about 10 a.m.
“We did just rebuild it not too long ago and remodeled and repainted it about a year ago. It's going to hurt, but then again we have sister churches that are willing to pick up recovery meeting slack and help out there as much as they can,” she said.
Booneville Fire Chief Mike Talley said rooftops layered construction made it a hard fire to fight.
“Booneville is a big family and when you have a tragedy like this right here. All the other churches and their congregation will all come together and help them out,” he said.
The pastor said it's too early to tell for sure, but he said they will more than likely rebuild.
Photos and video courtesy of Jamie Crawford.