Pastor Arrested For Trying To Burn House Down
State fire marshal investigators arrested two women Wednesday — including an East Baton Rouge Parish church pastor — who are accused of setting a house on fire not long after one of the women took out a new insurance policy on the home, the state fire marshal said.
Bridgett Barnes Steib, 49, was booked into Parish Prison on one count each of simple arson and arson with intent to defraud, state Fire Marshal Butch Browning said.
Steib is the head pastor at The Ministry of Love Church on Hooper Road.
Lucille Barnes Brown, 42, believed to be Steib’s sister, was booked on one count of simple arson, Browning said.
The pair are accused of burning Steib’s house at 22870 Jacock Road in Zachary, Browning said. The insurance value of the home was increased when the new policy was taken out, Browning said.
“Our investigation revealed there was probable cause to charge these two with the arson crimes,” Browning said.
The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are possible, Browning said.
Earlier this year, Steib and her congregation were featured in The Advocate for the church’s seventh annual “Giving Back” event where members spun a game-show style wheel marked with categories ranging from $100 to $1,000 and returned a portion of their winnings so others could have a chance at winning.
In order to play the give-back ‘game,’ a person had to qualify by giving money during the past year specifically for the event, Steib explained at the time.
There are several large, brass cans on the church’s platform marked with various collection categories such as “Seed,” and “Give-Back,” and that money is saved during the year for the event, Steib has said.
The Ministry of Love is a full gospel church, which Steib and her husband, Joseph, started in 1994 in their home. Since then it has steadily grown from 20 members to more than 400 members and expanded to include two day-care centers and a school of ministry, she has said.
Bridgett Steib also hosts local radio broadcasts and women’s conferences, writes books and has appeared on numerous Christian television programs, most recently with Paula White on Trinity Broadcasting Network.