From the Pulpit: The senseless fires in the church

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Here we go again.

In the mid-1990s, fires lit the night skies of the South, as a number of churches where our black brothers and sisters worship were set ablaze. Now in our beloved state, once again fires are destroying churches, and this time it appears that race is not necessarily a factor &8212; 10 churches have been set afire, and these sanctuaries are places where both white and black Alabamians worship.

The fires are senseless.

For anyone to torch a house of worship is beyond my ability to understand. Perhaps the guilty person (or persons) is angry with God or angry with some of the beliefs of God&8217;s people.

Perhaps the guilty individual(s) has a grudge against a pastor or a deacon or a Sunday School teacher who sought to help at some point.

However, setting fire to the church is no way to deal with anger or a grudge.

I have been praying for the guilty ones.

I have no idea if it&8217;s a group or an individual, of course, but I am praying that he, or they, will soon feel remorse and turn himself (or themselves) in to the authorities.

If that doesn&8217;t happen, I trust God will lead the investigators to find the person or group responsible for the fires.

Certainly I admire the restraint of the pastors and members of the burned churches. They have said they, too, are praying for the guilty party or parties.

They have said that the work of their churches will continue.

Of course, we know that the ministry of the church will progress. Jesus said long, long ago, &8220;I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it&8221; (Matthew 16:18, NIV).

May all of God&8217;s children recognize that the church &8212; in any place, at any time &8212; will always prevail.

After all, it does belong to God.

Ron Grizzle serves as pastor at Riverchase Baptist Church in Hoover. He can be reached by e-mail at