BENTON, Ky. (BP) — A man who reportedly claimed to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan has been arrested for allegedly threatening to burn down a Southern Baptist Church in western Kentucky.
Dustin Wright, 24, of Calvert City, was charged Wednesday (Nov. 1) 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 on Wednesday asking for money. When the church secretary offered the man 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 has been nominated for president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which will hold its annual meeting Nov. 14. 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 arrested Wright at St. Pius Catholic Church in Calvert City, where he was again asking for money.
Churches have had to take security far more seriously in recent years with shootings and arson becoming all too common. Earlier this year, a 70-year-old widow was murdered at Denham Street Baptist Church in Somerset, allegedly by a man the church had given assistance to. On September 24, a gunman reportedly shot and killed one person and injured eight in what police called a “mass casualty” church shooting in Nashville.