Man arrested for threatening to burn down Benton church

Published: November 14, 2017

BENTON—A Calvert City man was arrested Nov. 1 for allegedly threatening to burn down a Baptist church in western Kentucky.

Dustin Wright, 24, was charged with terroristic threatening and taken to the local jail.

Charles Frazier, pastor of Zion's Cause Baptist Church in Benton, said Wright came to the church asking for money. When the church secretary offered food instead, Frazier said, the man became belligerent, telling her he was a member of the Klan and that he would return and burn down the church.

“We have to take threats to our church seriously,” said Frazier, who is expected to be nominated Nov. 14 for president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention when it gathers in Louisville for its annual meeting. Frazier also is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

“We strive to balance the safety of our members while recognizing the need to be compassionate to others in need," he said. "We always keep in mind our responsibilities as Christians to every person.”

Authorities later arrested Wright at St. Pius Catholic Church in Calvert City, where he was again asking for money.

Churches have had to take security more seriously in recent years. Earlier this year, a 70-year-old widow was murdered at Denham Street Baptist Church in Somerset, allegedly by a man who had received assistance from the church. (BP)