The cause of a Sunday morning fire that destroyed a nearly 60-year-old church in Pike County remains unclear.
On Monday afternoon, a representative from the Pike County sheriff's office said the case had been turned over to Arkansas State Police, after confirming that the Crossroads Assembly of God, located on Arkansas 19 in Delight, caught fire about 5 a.m. Sunday. Further details were not provided, except that there were no reported injuries.
However, state police Trooper Liz Chapman said the agency "has not received a request for an investigation into the church fire" and did not answer any more questions.
Adam Hill, a 34 year-old deacon of the church, said that law-enforcement officials told him to expect an update regarding the fire investigation at a "later date."
Hill described the "heartbreak" of watching his tiny church burn before his eyes Sunday morning.
"I was born out there," he said.
Hill has been a member of church since childhood and has served as deacon for almost five years. He and his wife lead the church's youth ministry. On any given Sunday, 85 to 100 adults and children would worship together.
Photos Hill shared via Facebook show the church's scorched remains. Yellow crime scene tape cordons off piles of ash and warped pieces of siding. A gray haze lingers, hours after firefighters extinguished the blaze.
"Everyone at that church is connected in some way," Hill said. "We are a tightknit family."
Hill is optimistic about the future of Crossroads Assembly. Church leaders will likely meet soon to discuss rebuilding and finding a temporary location to worship, he said.
After a pause, he added: "The building can burn down, but the church is in our heart."
Metro on 09/05/2017
Print Headline: Fire destroys Delight church; State police investigation requested, sheriff’s office says