TAZEWELL, Tenn. (AP) - There was a fist fight at a Claiborne County church and now the building has burned to the ground. Detective Capt. David Honeycutt with the Claiborne County Sheriff's Office said the fire was being investigated and a look at the fight is a strong element of it. The cause of the fire late Friday or early Saturday hasn't been determined. Honeycutt said there was no indication of an electrical malfunction.
Edwards Community Missionary Baptist Church was in rural part of the county, near the Union County line.
"That's God's house. It's no place to throw fists, or shoot people, or talk about shooting people, (Ed. I thought that's exactly what it was for)it's for blessing the Lord," the church's pastor, Rev. Clayborn Gibbons, told WBIR-TV in Knoxville.
The station reported the building had stood for nearly 70 years, but a recent division over who should lead the congregation erupted into fisticuffs on Sept. 30.
Church member David Lovin told the station "it just all broke loose. (Ed: Didn't he mean ". . .allhellbroke loose.")
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