Local News

Goldsboro Minister Charged With Arson

Posted June 22, 2001 8:55 a.m. EDT

— Edward Lee Jones, a Goldsboro minister, has been arrested and charged with setting his own church on fire.

The fire happened last Friday at the Reaching The World For Christ Ministries. The church had had a previous fire in 1999, but the case was never solved.

Neighbor Annie Mae Whitfield witnessed the fire and saw the pastor just before someone on the street asked her to call 911.

"He left, then (a few minutes after) he left, a man stopped and told me to call 911, because the church was on fire, and I said, (darn), the pastor just left," Whitfield says

The reverend declined to comment on camera, but he did speak to WRAL after the previous fire.

"It was a tragedy, but it will just pull us closer together. We were close to start with, but this will just bring us closer," Jones said at the time.

Police have no plans to reopen the previous case. The congregation has not yet found another place to worship.