Someone torched a soon-to-be-closed Lutheran Church in Ozone Park this week.
Early Monday morning, around 2 a.m., an arsonist broke into Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at 85-15 101st Avenue and lit a fire within the church’s community center. While working a double shift, Nathaniel Rodriguez, the custodian, noticed something amiss when he was across the street taking trash out. When he returned to the church, he saw that the hallway’s linoleum floors were charred and the gas burners in the kitchen had been turned on. A can of Easy-Off was on top of the stove, which shows that the arsonist wanted to create more chaos.
The arsonist used old church records to start the fire, some records going back as far as 1884. Church offices were also ransacked.
Church council president John Naudus couldn’t believe the amount of historical records, such as wedding and funeral information, that could have been destroyed.
“It’s a real kick in the teeth,” Naudus said.
The church closed its doors this week. In the future, they are planning to join with St. Luke’s Luthern Church in Woodhaven and St. Philip Evangelical Church in Brooklyn to form one mega church, All Saints Lutheran Church.
“Maybe someone didn’t like the fact we were closing,” said Rodriguez.