Albany Pastor arrested for burning church - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Pastor arrested for burning church

January 18, 2008

Albany -- An Albany Church Pastor is arrested Friday, and charged with having his own church burned.

45 year old Dr. Joseph Howard is charged with first degree arson.  He is being held in the Dougherty County Jail without bond, along with 46 year old Curtis Jones. Investigators say Howard hired Jones to set the fire in the South Albany church.

Arson Investigators say the burning of the Metropolitan Baptist Church on December 31st was not a hate crime, but a crime for money. They charge that Reverend Howard had his church torched to collect the insurance money.

 Formerly known as Trinity Baptist, Metropolitan Baptist Church on West Gordon Avenue was vandalized and set on fire. Furniture was found turned over in the church and school offices, but only the sanctuary was burned.

Investigators charge that Reverend Howard sat down with 46 year old Curtis Jones and planned the arson, to make sure the entire church building burned. But the fire department put out the fire in the sanctuary.

Witnesses saw men leaving the area that morning, giving Investigators clues that lead them to make these arrests. Howard told WALB News Ten that he thought the fire was a hate crime, but Investigators say it was for the insurance money. The Metropolitan Baptist Church was being foreclosed on for missing payments to two mortgages, and church property was scheduled to be sold on the courthouse steps that week.

The Church and Reverend Howard were using federal grants to build low cost housing in a very controversial project in that neighborhood. Investigators say they continue to look into allegations that some of that money was misappropriated.

 Albany Fire Chief James Carswell and State Fire Commissioner John Oxendine said that more arrests in the church arson are expected, and they continue to look into the possibility of other crimes that could be connected to the church and it's Pastor.

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=pastorarrest

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • American Legion Post 30 hosts Memorial Day breakfast

    American Legion Post 30 hosts Memorial Day breakfast

    Monday, May 29 2017 10:46 AM EDT2017-05-29 14:46:18 GMT

    Albany's American Legion Post 30 hosted a breakfast on Monday morning to honor the country's fallen heroes.

    More >>

    Albany's American Legion Post 30 hosted a breakfast on Monday morning to honor the country's fallen heroes.

    More >>
  • Phoebe Putney honors missing and fallen veterans

    Phoebe Putney honors missing and fallen veterans

    Monday, May 29 2017 10:12 AM EDT2017-05-29 14:12:38 GMT
    The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main (Source:WALB)The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main (Source:WALB)

    Phoebe Putney is honoring fallen and missing veterans with a Missing and Fallen Comrade Table. The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main and will be displayed through the end of the month.

    More >>

    Phoebe Putney is honoring fallen and missing veterans with a Missing and Fallen Comrade Table. The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main and will be displayed through the end of the month.

    More >>
  • One dead in Albany wreck

    One dead in Albany wreck

    Monday, May 29 2017 9:56 AM EDT2017-05-29 13:56:04 GMT

    One person was killed and five others were injured in a wreck in Albany early Sunday morning.

    More >>

    One person was killed and five others were injured in a wreck in Albany early Sunday morning.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly