Historic East Texas Church Burns To The Ground

The historic Fields Chapel Methodist Church, located 11 miles east of Palestine, burned to the ground overnight, Thursday. It was finally put out early Friday.

For now, investigators have not ruled out arson, something that's hard to believe for the people who live in the community, people who have known generations of the church's members and families.

The main structure is a total loss. But a building connected to the church by a breezeway -- was saved. Firefighter John Wright, who's also a reserve deputy for the Anderson County Sheriff's Department, says arson may indeed have been a factor in the blaze.

Historians say the church was founded prior to the 1850's by John W. Fields. Officials believe the area around the church was first settled in the 1830's.