Local News

Man Charged With Setting Church Afire

Posted July 12, 2007

— A Harnett County man was charged Thursday with setting fire to a church this week and vandalizing property in Coats, authorities said.

William Arnold Parker, 22, of Dunn, has been charged with burning a church building, defacing public property, criminal damage to property and vandalism, authorities said. He is being held in the Harnett County Detention Center on a $20,000 secured bond.

A fire burned the front entrance of Oakdale Baptist Church on Red Hill Church Road near the Johnston-Harnett county line early Monday before burning itself out, authorities said. The fire damaged the front doors and some vinyl siding on the building.

Coats police questioned Arnold about vandalism in the town, and information he provided linked him to the church fire, authorities said.

The church fire was a random act and the building wasn't burned because it was a church, authorities said.

The case remains under investigation, and other charges are possible, authorities said.


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  • wolfmandan Jul 13, 2007

    At least it wasn't an Islamic church or there would be more bad feelings and actions. People who start fires at churches just don't get the long terms effects it has on people of the community.

  • All child molesters should die Jul 12, 2007

    Another loser.

  • sammy12 Jul 12, 2007

    I think it means he didn't start the fire because it was a church....just that he started a fire to start a fire.

  • Weetie Jul 12, 2007

    sorry to say I know this family and am not surprised.


  • shine Jul 12, 2007

    Has anyone heard what was done with the guy from Farmville that burned the Greenville Churches? I know they arrested him - but has he been to court?

  • shine Jul 12, 2007

    A random act not because it was a Church??????????? What sense does that make? The perp didn't understand it was a Church? I would like the classification of a "random act".

  • mrtwinturbo Jul 12, 2007

    The church fire was a random act and the building wasn't burned because it was a church? What the?

  • raptor101 Jul 12, 2007

    "What if someone was inside?"

    Maybe they would be able to take the express train to heaven
    If you believe in heaven, why are you afriad to pass... and why does one think it is a tragedy that ones life is taken??

    Wouldn't it be a blessing?

  • InhisName aka CaryCrazzy Jul 12, 2007

    May God bless this guy. Just keep the Bibles away from him in prison, he might burn them as well.

    In His Name, Be Bless

  • JustCrazy2 Jul 12, 2007

    I agree, he should pay for the damages.