Church Employee Charged With Arson

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

A Kansas City man, who worked as the church’s custodian, has been charged in federal court with arson on Monday, Oct. 30.
Nathaniel D. Nelson, 48, was charged in U.S. District Court with committing arson inside of the Concord Cultural center which adjoins the Concord Fortress of Hope church.

Nelson was captured on a video inside the building’s foyer just before he unplugged the surveillance system, according to documents. The church’s infra-red system continued to record Nelson with his cellphone walking through the church. He was unaware of that second system, which recorded video of him outside spray-painting the graffiti, according to the allegations.

Deputy Chief Karl Oakman of the Kansas City, Mo., Police department, identified Nelson from the video. Oakman is also a member of Concord.

Nelson was not only a member, but was the church’s head custodian and was doing an outstanding job, according to Rev. Ron Lindsay, founder and senior pastor of Concord.

“He was doing an outstanding job,” Pastor Lindsay told THE CALL.
“We did know, after our background investigation, that he had a felony conviction although we did not learn that it was arson. We believe that people deserve a second chance and he had earned our support. He had just received a raise in pay and was about to receive full company benefits. He was a really good worker,” he said.