Deputies: Kiowa Church Destroyed By Fire Started By Man Worshipi - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Deputies: Kiowa Church Destroyed By Fire Started By Man Worshiping God

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Mug photo of Barry Mitchell. Mug photo of Barry Mitchell.

A McAlester man has been charged in connection with a fire that destroyed a Kiowa church on Monday, May 6, 2013.

Barry Mitchell, 46, was arrested outside the Fellowship Worship Church.

Firefighters from six departments including Kiowa and McAlester responded to the fire.

The church's pastor told Pittsburg County Sheriff's deputies she had arrived at 8:15 p.m. to meet a family who the church was helping with groceries. Linda Snider said she noticed a pickup parked underneath the porch. Thinking the truck belonged to a crew working on the roof, Snider entered the church.

A short time later, Snider noticed the truck on fire and called for help.

According to jail records, at about the same time another church member arrived and spotted Mitchell next to the truck.

Deputies talked with Mitchell at the fire scene. In their report they say they asked how the fire started and they say Barry Mitchell told them "He was worshipping God." The deputy asked what Mitchell was doing when the fire started. The deputy wrote in his report, "Barry didn't say anything, just raised his hands, palms up in a pushing motion towards the sky."

Barry Mitchell was booked into the Pittsburg County jail. He was charged with first degree arson Tuesday.

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