Burned Bogalusa church not seeking donations

BOGALUSA (AP) — The pastor of Bethlehem

Baptist Church, which was totally destroyed by fire more than a week

ago, says the congregation

is not currently seeking donations.

The Rev. Christopher Matthews said requests circulating around Bogalusa are not official and may be scams. He tells The Daily

News there are no plans at this time to rebuild. Once a course of action is decided, he says it will be made public.

Bethlehem Baptist is the oldest African-American church in Bogalusa. In 1958, the congregation moved into the E. Seventh Street

church building, which burned in the early hours of Dec. 16.

The cause is still under investigation. The Louisiana fire marshal’s office has said there was no early indication of foul

play.