Montgomery County police say they have identified a person involved in the vandalism of two churches along Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda.

Three churches in close proximity to each other were vandalized the weekend of July 9 and 10, including two that were set on fire, according to authorities.

At St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish, a fire damaged several pews and several other items of religious significance around 2 a.m. July 10, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer and the Rev. Samuel Giest, the church’s pastor.

On July 9, a small fire at North Bethesda United Methodist Church damaged the fellowship hall kitchen and hallway around 1:30 a.m., according to authorities and the church.

At Wildwood Baptist Church, about a dozen markers in the adjacent cemetery were vandalized and a wooden cross that had been at the edge of the property was thrown onto Old Georgetown Road, according to the church’s pastor David Sayne.

In a statement Monday, county police said they have been working with Fire & Rescue fire and explosive investigators and that the “matter is being handled in the juvenile court.”


“There is no ongoing threat to the community in relation to these incidents,” the message stated.

The police’s message did not include any information about whether someone had been charged in connection with the vandalism, nor did it indicate which specific vandalisms the person identified may have perpetrated. Police directed further questions to the Fire & Rescue Service. A spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dan Schere can be reached at