Governor visits burned Tyler church - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Governor visits burned Tyler church

By Bob Hallmark - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Governor Rick Perry was in East Texas this weekend, but it was not to campaign ahead of Tuesday's primary. Instead, the governor toured the damage from the East Texas church arsons.

Governor Perry was visibly moved as he took his first look up close at what arsonists had done to Tyland Baptist church, which was burned on January 16th.

"I'm reminded that a church is not just a building. It's also a collection of people that are joined together in faith. These incidents fuel our anger when acts of violence are perpetrated against houses of worship," Governor Perry said.

Along with law enforcement and state representatives Tommy Merritt and Leo Berman, the governor spoke on the tragedy that befell all of the churches that were victimized.

Governor Perry told us, "As we followed the events, as another burned and another it became clear that evil was afoot , and that an extra level of justice was required."

The burning of this fire was an attack, I think the governor used the word, it was an attack on an establishment," said State Representative Tommy Merritt.

Keenly aware of the timing of the visit, the governor emphasized this was not politically motivated, but wanted to praise those who helped catch the suspects.

He said, "If someone wants to say that's politicizing they certainly may, I'm going to stand with men and women who put themselves between people who would do harm to our communities and theses criminals on a regular basis." 

Governor Perry also praised the perseverance of East Texas churches throughout this investigation.

Copyright 2010 KLTV.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly