Student Teams For Burned Churches

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Birmingham-Southern College has organized student into teams to assist the ten Alabama churches damaged or destroyed in arson fires.

Two Birmingham-Southern students and a UAB student are charged in nine of the blazes.

Five churches in Bibb County were set on fire February 3, and four more were burned four days later in Pickens, Sumter and Greene counties.

Investigators said the Lamar County fire at a 10th church -- Beaverton Freewill Baptist -- was unrelated to the others. No arrest has been made in that case. But college officials are including the church on their assistance list.

Stewart Jackson, dean of the chapel at Birmingham-Southern, says the assistance teams will establish connections with the congregations over the next month, discuss each church's needs, then act as a liaison between the church and college to provide the help.

The college's Alabama Churches Rebuilding and Restoration Fund has collected $81,000 so far in checks and written pledges.