James Steele, chief of the Central Mat-Su Fire Department, stands outside Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin's burned church. Officials say an arsonist is responsible for the fire
Alaskan Governor and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's church was maliciously set on fire Friday say officials.
Investigators found a flammable substance was poured around the building's perimeter and near the front doors. Laboratory tests will be conducted in order to determine exactly what kind of accelerant was used in the blaze.
Wasilla Bible Church burned while several church members were inside. Luckily, no one was hurt. Initial estimates show the fire caused at least $500,000 worth of damage. Other news outlets have reported the church suffered up to $1.5 million in damage from the fire.
Wasilla Bible Church had been recently criticized by pro-gay activists for supporting "Love Won Out" seminars by Focus on the Family that attempt to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals through prayer.
The gay community has become increasingly violent actions towards pro-marriage churches, especially those who follow the Book of Mormon, after the defeat of Proposition 8 in California.
Throughout the 2008 presidential election Palin's critics targeted her religious beliefs, zeroing in on the tenets of Pentecostalism. The Governor identifies herself as a Christan, but has attended Pentecostal churches in the past. Palin has attended several churches since she's been in public office, including the non-denominational Wasilla Bible Church.
Palin visited Wasilla Bible Church to survey the damage on Saturday. Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said, "Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the Governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good."