Friday, June 27 2014, 11:10 PM EDT
Second Teen Charged with Setting Church on Fire
Authorities in Whitfield County have arrested a second teenager in connection with a fire three months ago at the Beaverdale Baptist Church.
Friday afternoon investigators arrested Forrest A. Jones (pictured left), 19, and charged him with arson.
Jacob Dylan Plott (pictured right) was arrested in the case Thursday. He is charged with two counts of arson.
Judy Whaley lives down the street from Beaverdale Baptist Church. Even though she isn't a current member, she spent two decades attending services and leading Sunday school classes in the original sanctuary.
"It means a lot to the people in the community," says Whaley. "It's kind of like a historical landmark to us and its got wonderful memories, because we went to church there so long. It just holds a special place in my heart."
Torn pages from a book of Hymns are the only clue piles of ash used to be a church.
"I don't think anybody should do anything to destroy God's house," says Whaley. "And how they could even have the nerve to do it... I mean... I don't understand it. I really don't."
Whaley left the church fifteen years ago, but holds memories of Sunday morning sermons from Pastor J.D. Cox close to her heart.
"I was not one to step up and be a Sunday school teacher or take a leadership role. He really encouraged us to do that and we grew."
The church will continue their Sunday and Wednesday services in the new building. Like many in the small community, Whaley prays for those who need it most.
"I just hope that they learn from this and.... move on."
The teens were taken to the Whitfield County Jail.
Friday evening, Plott had already been picked up. Jones was still there.
Investigators say they believe they are the only two involved in the arson case. They have not indicated a motive however.
By: Kelsey Bagwell