ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-A local church that was the target of an arsonist two months ago is finishing its road to recovery. After weeks of holding services where ever they could, even outside, the small group calling themselves the United Believers In Christ will gather for the first time in their new home on north Broadway on Sunday morning.
Their home had been the New Life Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis until about two months ago. That's when they became the fifth victim in a string of seven church arsons around north city and north St. Louis County. The churches were all home to predominantly African-American congregations, and the story made national headlines before it was all over. It ended, at least apparently, with the arrest of 25 year old David Lopez Jackson, a man who friends told FOX 2 was homeless at the time.
Pastor David Triggs of the United Believers In Christ Ministries said that on the day of the arrest that it was clear Jackson had other problems.
“I always believed this was someone who had been injured by the church in some sort of way. When I look at the picture that was just released of this gentleman, there was hurt in his eyes and there was neglect in his life. It makes me kind of step back and humble myself and look on the inside and ask what can we do to be more proactive with our neighborhoods, to meet the needs of our neighborhoods?”
Jackson’s arrest came October 30, 2015 and there have been no more church fires since. Jackson, at last word, was being held on $75,000 bond.
But on Sunday, the law and order portion of this story is secondary. Folks who were victimized by the fires are simply happy to have found a new home for their church.