The pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church near Vacaville and three other people have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the firebombing of the pastor’s ex-girlfriend’s home early Thursday morning.
The pastor, 39-year-old Mark Lewis, was arrested Friday at the church, located at 3321 Farrell Road in unincorporated Vacaville, Vacaville police Sgt. Jeff King said.
The three other suspects, Anthony Newbolt, 33, Richerd Wright, 28, both of Sacramento, and Kristen Broyles, 30, of Citrus Heights, were arrested during a traffic stop shortly after the firebombing, which occurred around 3:30 a.m. Thursday at a home on Chateau Circle in Vacaville, King said.
Lewis and the arson victim had dated for about a year, and the victim had a restraining order against Lewis, King said.
Lewis was also named as a suspect in four separate incidents of harassment and vandalism against the victim since Christmas, King said. One of those incidents included setting the bushes in front of the victim’s home on fire, the sergeant said.
Police seized evidence — including an illegal handgun and suspected methamphetamine — from Lewis’ home, located on the property of the Fellowship Baptist Church, King said.
Lewis was arrested on suspicion of arson of an inhabited dwelling, conspiracy and stalking. He is being held in Solano County Jail on $500,000 bail, King said.
Newbolt and Broyles told police they were living at the church because they were homeless. They and Wright were booked into Solano County Jail for arson of an inhabited dwelling and possession of an incendiary device.
Newbolt and Broyles also were arrested on outstanding warrants, King said. All three were scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Solano County Superior Court.
Someone from inside the Chateau Circle residence called police around 3:30 a.m. Thursday to report that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown into their home, King said.
Six people, including three children, were sleeping inside at the time, but no one was injured, King said. Damage to the home was minor, and the residents were able to put out the fire before firefighters arrived, King said.
Police and the fire department began an investigation, and a Vacaville police officer spotted a rental car at the intersection of Ulatis Drive and Leisure Town Road within minutes of the reported arson, King said.
The vehicle, the only one on the road at the time, was pulled over for a vehicle code violation. Newbolt, Wright and Broyles, who were inside the car, were then arrested, King said.
Lewis became pastor of the 40-member Baptist Fellowship Church in May 2000, according to the church’s website.
“Pastor Mike preaches with a zeal and excitement for the things of God, a heart for the people of God, and a burden for the lost souls dying and going to hell,” the website states.
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