Explosives, firearms found in car outside Southaven church
SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Church leaders found homemade incendiary devices and firearms in a car parked outside Brown Missionary Baptist Church.
Pastor Bartholomew Orr, senior pastor at Brown Baptist, said there was a car outside the church located on Stateline Road. That car had explosive materials inside.
The church was not open at the time, nobody was injured, and the car is no longer at the church.
Southaven police officers said they approached the car and discovered it belonged to a man whose family owns property just north of the church--a man who has been banned from church property before.
The man has been identified as Jason Moncrief, 41. Southaven Police Department said Moncrief was arrested Thursday night for trespassing on church property.
"We don't have any idea as to the intent, motivation, and so we still just waiting on the police department to do their investigation," Orr said.
Church security advisers said they have had previous run-ins with Moncrief, although they did not release specific details on his past transgressions. Orr said security at the church has been closely monitoring Moncrief for some time.
On Friday, the Shelby County Bomb Squad searched the area and gathered additional clues. The ATF is working to determine if the devices discovered are live explosives.
"We do want to thank God first of all for his ultimate protection. This person was not a member of the church and we just thank Him for his ultimate protection," Orr said.
Pastors at the church said all activities will return to normal this weekend. They plan to use the same security measures as before.
Southaven Police Department believes Moncrief and his explosives were not a real threat to Brown Baptist. However, church members and people who live in the area remain concerned for their safety.
"That's really detrimental to the neighborhood," Eric Howard said.
Moncrief is currently being held in the DeSoto County jail.
Brown Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest and largest churches in the Mid-South. It was founded in 1882 and today it has more than 10,000 members. You can learn more about the church and it's mission by clicking here.
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