Perry County church fire ruled arson

Ohio

JUNCTION CITY, OH (WCMH) — The State Fire Marshal says arson is the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a church in Perry County last week. 

The Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Junction City was gutted by the fire that swept through the 145-year-old building last Tuesday morning.

The fire was considered suspicious and investigators were quickly able to identify a possible suspect. Perry County Sheriff William Barker says the suspect is currently being held on an unrelated, outstanding warrant in Fairfield County.  

Floyd Caldwell, a member of the church for 40 years, says he cannot understand why someone would set fire to a church.

“I’ve never seen him and I don’t know him but I think he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Caldwell said. 

Church members gathered Sunday and came away determined to move forward.

“The church is the people, this was just a place to meet,” said Ed Bookman. “We’re still a church even though we’re not in this building. We can rebuild a building. We can all get together and be together again and that’s what a church is.”

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