Church buses burned

August 21, 2009 10:07:59 AM PDT
Fellowship Baptist Church in Durham discovered its fleet of buses vandalized Friday. "We're gonna be in trouble Sunday," Pastor Rick Finley said. "We're really gonna have to improvise Sunday."

Pastor Finley woke up to bad news Friday morning, learning several church buses were set on fire and at least two of them were destroyed with a baseball bat.

The church uses the buses every weekend. On Saturday church members visit children and minorities as part of Fellowship Baptist Church's bus ministry. It covers 14 routes in the Durham area.

On Sunday the buses become more important.

"We go back and pick up and bring them to church and have the opportunity to be in the Sunday school class," Finley explained.

The vandalism happened overnight. Firefighters are still trying to find out how the fire was set.

"The first thing you think is thankful that no one was hurt -- that it wasn't an accident involving people," Finley said.

This weekend the 1,200 people who worship at the church will find a way to keep the bus ministry going.

"Our people will double run buses Sunday, we'll double run buses Sunday [and] pick kids up in cars," Finley explained.

Explaining why these kinds of crimes are committed may be Pastor Finley's toughest sermon yet.

"You half way understand when they take things in light of today's economy but vandalism is just inexplicable - that's hard to understand," he said. "We would do anything we could to help people and they come and do something like this."

Fellowship Baptist has surveillance video but it doesn't include the bus parking lot.

The crime is now in the hands of investigators.


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