Mystery surrounds Virginia church fires

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia State Police are investigating whether an arsonist set fire to two churches in Middlesex County, Virginia.

The fires at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, on November 17, and Glebe Landing Baptist on November 23, are among four fires now under investigation by state police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Middlesex County Sheriff's Deputies.

"Somebody is setting them. We just don't know who," Deacon Stanley Minor said. "What did you accomplish by setting a church on fire? Who are you spiting?"

Down the road, at Glebe Landing Baptist, the sanctuary was not damaged, but a building that housed items for the county's less fortunate was set on fire.

The building, along with clothes, food, furniture, and holiday decorations inside were destroyed.

"Anytime you lose something important to you and important to the community, it is difficult," Minor said. "This is a place where sometimes people Christmas shop because it's free, and that’s all they have. They can't afford to shop elsewhere."

Less than two miles from Glebe Landing Baptist, an empty home burned to the ground on November 21.

All three fires have been ruled suspicious, according to Crime Insider sources. A car fire in the area on November 1 was likely set by an arsonist, those sources said.

"If the fire is set, we need to pray for them first and foremost,” Glebe Landing Baptist Church Rev. Gene Cumbia said. “We don't know why or what's going on inside him."

When asked if they would rebuild their churches, both Minor and Cumbia said they would pray on it and head in the direction that God leads them.

Anyone with information about the fires was asked to call the Middlesex Sheriff's Office at 804-758-2779.

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