The fire Monday morning (November 13) at Providence Baptist Church in Catawba County has been ruled as arson. Fire departments from three counties responded to the fire at approximately 2 a.m. yesterday. The church is located on Providence Road in Vale.
No injuries were reported but investigators immediately considered the fire suspicious after finding the phrase “anti-gay hate group” spray painted behind the church. The Catawba County Sheriff's Office issued a news release today stating that the fire has been ruled as arson.
The fire began in the rear basement area of Providence Baptist Church where Sunday school classes and a nursery are located. A prayer service was held at the church last night.