The State Fire Marshal says arson is to blame for a fire that destroyed a historic church on Elizabeth Hill.

"There is evidence of grand larceny prior to the fire," said Kim O'Brien with the state fire marshal's office in Charleston. "There are items missing from the church — the heater and some pews."

The Bethel Church burned to the ground Wednesday night.

The Elizabeth VFD responded to a garage fire on Rose Hill yesterday, not far from the church.

"The church had no money and no insurance. Everything we had went right back into it ... It is upsetting," said pastor John Barker.

The church also was broken into a month ago and someone stole about $2,000 worth of tools.

The church, which measured just 20 feet by 26 feet, was built in 1898.

The congregation is planning to find another meeting place and continue weekly services.