48ºF

Pastor: Someone broke into church, tried to take money, set fire

HOUSTON – A pastor said someone set his church on fire in northeast Houston Friday. 

Firefighters were called to the New Evergreen Baptist Church in the 3500 block of Collingsworth just after 1 a.m.

Fire crews quickly put out the flames that were coming out of the back of the church.

No one was inside at the time, and no firefighters were hurt.

The flames damaged the outside of the back of the church and an attic area.

photo

Arson investigators said they are not calling the fire suspicious at this point as it is still under investigation. 

The church's pastor Henry Miller said he knows someone broke into the church, looking for money, and when they didn't find it, they set the place on fire. 

"Someone broke in through a window on the side of the church and broke into the finance room hoping to find some quick cash in the church, and they didn't find any cash so it looks like they started a fire," the pastor said. 

Miller said there were signs that someone was in the building. 

"There's rummaging in the finance rooms, all the offering envelopes are torn open, some are even outside the window they came in hoping they'd find some money, but there wasn't any in there," Miller said. 

Miller said they have started the cleanup process and it will be hard, but they have already forgiven the person who did it. 

"I'm praying for them right now, we're praying for the souls, we're not excited about the sin that was committed, but we're praying for that individual that their life will turn around," Miller said. 

The Bereau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was called to the scene but the pastor says that is protocol and that ATF is always called to a house of worship to investigate. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Houston police.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you're on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.