HOLLY SPRINGS • Holly Springs Police Department and Marshall County Sheriff’s Department officials received a call early Wednesday morning about a fire that burned down First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs.

Marshall County Sheriff Kenneth Dickerson said authorities received notice before 4 a.m. from a passing motorist who saw the fire and informed them. At this time, they have reason to believe it is arson, as there were graffiti lines that were painted in the parking lot of the church, Dickerson said. Authorities are now looking for a suspect or suspects.

Other local, state and federal agencies are also investigating the case.

First Pentecostal Church currently has an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging the Holly Springs Stay Home Order, according to the Thomas More Society, a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm representing the First United Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs. The church previously sought a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction against the city of Holly Springs after law enforcement ordered church members to disperse during Easter Sunday services on April 12 and again during mid-week Bible study on April 22, according to United States District Judge Michael P. Mills in an April 24 order.

Thomas More Society released the following statement after Wednesday’s fire:

“The Thomas More Society is saddened by the news that a fire destroyed First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs last night. To hear that the authorities are treating this as arson is distressing and we pray that the perpetrators of this terrible event will be brought to justice. Our most sincere prayers are with the people of this church and their pastor. They have been grieving the inability to gather as a congregation since the COVID-19 pandemic stay home orders forced the closure of their church home and now they must grieve the loss of this spiritual home, their place of worship. Stephen Crampton, Senior Counsel at the Thomas More Society”

Any information regarding the case may be given to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department at 662-252-1311 or by calling the Holly Springs Police Department. Information will be kept confidential.

danny.mcarthur@journalinc.com

Twitter: @Danny_McArthur_

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