Feds, state, local authorities investigate arson at York County church

ROCK HILL, S.C. — State and federal investigators are trying to figure out who set a South Carolina church on fire in York County.

Authorities said someone broke the windows at New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church on Ogden Road in Rock Hill around 7 p.m. Tuesday and set it on fire.

Pastor Monte Newbill rushed to the church and when he arrived, firefighters were already there.

“The lady I spoke to said the building was on fire so when I heard that, I panicked a little,” Newbill said.

Officials told Channel 9 reporter Tina Terry that the alleged arson was the second fire reported in the area in the past few days.

Investigators said someone set another fire on the railroad tracks directly behind the church five days ago.

Nobody was at the church when the fire started and investigators said the flames did not spread, so there was very little damage.

“Thankfully it was just minimal damage. It could have been worse, so we thank God for that,” Newbill said.

But the incident has left the more than 100 members of the church very disturbed. They said the arson could disrupt an upcoming service planned for Saturday.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified told Channel 9 someone threw rocks at her windows recently.

“All I know is it was purposefully done and for what reason? Maybe they wanted attention. Maybe they were just upset,” she said.

Investigators said they would continue to canvas the area for clues. The FBI, SLED and ATF are all involved in the investigation.

(WATCH BELOW: NoDa church fire ruled arson)