Baptist Missions Board Aids Burned Churches

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions has distributed $355,000 to nine churches struck by arsonists earlier this year.

A spokesman did not know the amount of money given to each church.

Five Bibb County churches were set on fire on February third. Pleasant Sabine Baptist, Ashby Baptist and Rehobeth Baptist churches were destroyed. Old Union and Antioch Baptist had minor damage. Pleasant Sabine has begun construction on a new sanctuary and could finish by mid-September.

Four more churches were set afire on February seventh in Pickens, Sumter and Greene counties. Morning Star Missionary Baptist in Boligee, Dancy Baptist in Aliceville and Galilee Baptist in Panola were destroyed. Spring Valley Baptist in Gainesville was damaged.

Three former Birmingham-area college students were arrested March eighth on charges related to the church fires. They await trial and their attorneys have been working with prosecutors on a possible plea agreement. All nine of the burned churches are Baptist.