Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This morning I received word that a package bomb went off on the front steps of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Beaumont, Texas between the last service yesterday and early this morning. I have spoken with the Rev. Steven Balke, rector of the congregation, who noticed immediate damage when he arrived at the church this morning observing blown out windows, traces of the detonated package, and holes in the walls. I give thanks to God that no one was hurt in this incident.
All Saints’ Episcopal School has been evacuated and the church and the school will remain closed until further notice. The FBI is on scene and is currently investigating what happened as there was a similar event at a Beaumont Starbucks on April 27. As more information becomes known, I will be sure to update you all. Please be sure to check the EDOT website and social media pages for the latest updates.
Our main concern right now is the pastorcal care needs of the congregation and school are met. We are sending Bishop Monterroso, Carol Barnwell, director of communications, and the Rev. Canon Joann Saylors to be with them in Beaumont. In the meantime, Bishops Fisher, Harrison, Monterroso, and I ask for your prayers for Steven Balke and his family, the St. Stephen’s and All Saints’ staff, the first responders, and all those affected by this incident.
Sincerely,The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew DoyleIX Bishop of Texas