Arsonist Targets Three Churches in Brooklyn

Footage from a security camera at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church shows the suspect igniting a stack of newspapers. 


Easter is just around the corner, and someone is going around Brooklyn setting churches on fire.

According to the NYPD, the arsonist targeted three places of worship over the weekend, all within a few blocks of each other.

The first incident occurred at 2:45 a.m. last Saturday, when the arsonist burned down the doorway of The Greater New Beginnings Church at 303 East 98th Street by lighting a newspaper on fire.

The arsonist hit the Inglesia Christina Church on Pitkin Avenue at 2:35 a.m. on Palm Sunday, tossing an unidentified object through the window of the church’s bathroom. The bathroom sustained only minor damage as the fire was quickly extinguished.

His third and most recent target,  St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 1417 Union Street, had a security camera in the doorway. The footage, released by the police, shows the suspect walking up to the entrance of the church in a green jacket. He has a stack of newspapers in his hand, which he places on the ground and ignites before noticing the camera and climbing up to disable it. But the footage isn’t enough to identify the man.

“We have no idea who it is,” said Clothilda Sterling, the parish secretary who reportedly discovered the fire on Monday. As far as St. Mark’s goes, the incident has put a major wrench in Easter preparations for Friday, and the church staff is working against the clock to put everything together.

“The whole place was filled with dust and smoke, and we had to spend all of Monday cleaning everything and all of Tuesday,” said Ingrid P. Scrubb, the parish administrator.

“As you can see, we’re still in disarray.”