BEAUMONT, TX — The FBI is responding to investigate a package bomb explosion at an Episcopal Church in Beaumont.
According to Rev. Steven Balke, of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, sometime between the end of worship Wednesday evening and the beginning of school this morning, a package detonated outside the office door of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beaumont. No one was injured.
Scootie Clark, head of St. Stephens school said she was very proud of her students. “The kids were calm and respectful” as they left the campus she said. She said students had practiced for emergencies and “they were ready.”
“The teachers did a fabulous job,” said Melanie Hartfield, the schools advancement director, adding that “not one child was scared.” The school was initially put on lockdown following the discovery of damage and after 30 minutes, students were released to their parents.
Balke immediately called police and soon had the office and school evacuated. “The FBI is here and checking the property,” Balke said. An explosive device was located at an area Starbucks on April 26 so the event at St. Stephen’s is not an isolated incident. “Everyone is taking this very seriously, especially since there is a school involved,” he added.
Balke said he is very grateful the explosion happened before he arrived to work. Had he or another staff member picked up a box left at the front door, they could have been severely injured or killed if damage to the building is any indication.
“We are very blessed that no one was injured,” he said, “We appreciate everyone’s prayers at this time. It has made everyone very nervous.”