Deputies arrested Harley Fulp in connection to the Gideon Grove United Methodist Church fire. Courtesy Rockingham County Sheriff's Office.
Courtesy Rockingham County Sheriff's Office.
Rockingham Co., NC -- Investigators with the Rockingham County Fire Marshal and the Rockingham Co. Sheriff's Office have made an arrest in the Gideon Grove United Methodist Church arson case.
The fire was set December 22, 2012, days before Christmas. Fire crews from nearly a dozen different stations helped extinguish the fire.
The church was damaged significantly. Members from the church have been meeting at Palestine UMC until their church is rebuilt.
Friday, investigators arrested 18-year-old, Harley Kendall Fulp of Stokesdale. He's charged with Felonious Burning of a Church or Other Religious Building in connection to the arson.
News 2 talked to Reverend Wanda Lancaster about the arrest. She said members prayed for justice but now they're even sadder.
"As one member called me and said they wanted the person to be caught. They wanted the fires to stop but then when you find out it's someone local, you know, everybody knows, it hurts your heart," said Lancaster.
Some of the members know Fulp and his family. Lancaster told News 2 that she is praying for the suspect.
Fulp is not connected with the other church arsons at this time. But there have been five cases including Gideon Grove United Methodist Church since December. All five churches are all Methodist and four are located within roughly 10 miles of one another.
Read: Stokesdale Church Destroyed, Members Promise to Rebuild
Read: 2 Alarm Fire At Mt. Zion UMC Church Call Arson By Investigators
Read: Attempted Arson At Bethel United Methodist In Stokesdale Under Investigation
Read: Fire Reported At Bethany United Methodist Church In Rockingham County
Robert Cardwell, Rockingham County Fire Marshal had much to say about the recent arrest.
"My thanks go out to all of my team at the Fire Marshal's Office, Sheriff Sam Page and Sheriff's Detective Lori Pegram, the ATF, the NC SBI and everyone else who helped in the investigation of this Arson. There are still two Rockingham County church arsons under investigation at this time, and we are asking anyone with information about these fires to come forward."
If you have any information about the fires set at the other churches call the Rockingham County Fire Marshal's Office at (336)634-3014 or call the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office at (336)634-3232 or the Rockingham County Crimestoppers at (336)349-9683.
WFMY News 2, Rockingham Co. Sheriff's Office