The historic Presbyterian church in Sacaton, Arizona — the oldest church in the state — has been burnt to the ground by arsonists.
Police have arrested three people in connection with the blaze but have not released their names or any details surrounding the crime.
The C.H. Cook Memorial Church is the oldest Presbyterian church in the state, and it went up in flames last Monday. Now, the community is trying to figure out what comes next.
Fox10 reports: The church was built in 1918, and it was located at Church Street and Pima. It was a historical pillar of the community, but now, three people are being charged with burning it down.
“Answering all the questions of why and how and what for, that’s the hard work,” said Rev. Munroe.
Officials with the Gila River Police Department say three people have been questioned and arrested for arson.
Their motives are not known, but Rev. Munroe says the historic C. H. Cook Memorial Presbyterian Church was a pillar in the community, having been built over one hundred years ago. The loss of the church is not only sad for worshipers but everyone in the small town.
“It wasn’t just Presbyterians gathered in the courtyard, watching the first responders put out the fire,” said Rev. Munroe. “It was members of the community. Members of the community would come by and say, ‘hey, I remember when I was 12 and I worshiped there. I remember doing Bible in the basement.'”
As of now, it’s still not safe to enter the burnt-out remains of the church to see if anything is salvageable. Rev. Munroe said they did have long-term goals to bring the church back to its former glory. Now, however, they’re not so sure what they’re next steps will be, as the community comes together.
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