Local News

Teen Charged With Setting Church on Fire

Posted April 27, 2007 3:57 p.m. EDT

— A Johnston County teen was charged Friday with setting fire to a church last weekend, authorities said.

Alvin Lee Parrish, 17, has been charged with arson in connection with a Sunday morning fire at Whitley Memorial United Methodist Church, authorities said. He is being held in the Johnston County Detention Center on a $140,000 bond.

Smithfield police discovered the fire while investigating a break-in at a nearby business.

Parrish was arrested Sunday and charged with breaking into a convenience store and stealing three cases of beer.

Officials said they believe the church's main sanctuary is damaged beyond repair. Church members said they hope they can hold service in a smaller sanctuary on the property.