VACAVILLE — A Vacaville pastor who was previously arrested in connection with the firebombing of his ex-girlfriend’s home was arrested again Friday and faces a host of new accusations.
Police arrested Mark Lewis, 39, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, on suspicion of making a false financial statement, perjury and attempting to record a false or forged instrument, according to police. His bail was set at $35,000.
Also arrested was Lewis’ uncle Danny Lewis, 60, on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm with the serial number removed. His bail was set at $20,000.
Mark Lewis’ most recent arrest came after an investigation by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office into the source of funds Lewis used to post bail after his arrest in connection with the firebombing.
Lewis and his uncle were arrested when authorities served a search warrant at Fellowship Baptist Church on Farrell Road, police said in a press release.
Investigators allege that Mark Lewis fraudulently posted $500,000 bail on Jan. 11, the day after his initial arrest for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 9 arson fire at a home on Chateau Circle. Mark Lewis allegedly used the church property as collateral to post his bail by securing property at 3321 Farrell Road and 6657 Gibson Canyon Road in Vacaville.
Paperwork provided to the bail bond company did not appear legitimate, triggering the District Attorney’s Office investigation, according to the release. Authorities said Fellowship Baptist Church Inc., the name used by Lewis’ church in Vacaville, did not appear to be a legitimate corporation.
Investigators determined that Fellowship Baptist Church Inc. is actually the corporate name of a Baptist church in Riverside. Corporation numbers used by the Vacaville church belonged to the Baptist Church in Riverside as well, according to the release.
The two churches have nothing to do with one another.
“Not at all, no affiliation. (There is) no knowledge from that (Riverside) church that this church existed and they have no knowledge of who Mark Lewis is,” Vacaville police Lt. John Carli said when contacted Saturday.
As the investigation progressed, the California Secretary of State’s Office also confirmed that Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville had never filed for nonprofit status. Further investigation revealed loans secured in the name of Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville may have also used the identity and corporation numbers of the Riverside church, the release states.
Carli likened the most-recent allegations against Mark Lewis to a form of identity theft, but on a corporate level.
The saga began with a Jan. 9 phone call from the Chateau Circle home of Mark Lewis’ former girlfriend, reporting a Molotov cocktail had been thrown through a window in the wee hours. No one was injured in that incident, although police said the occupants of the home, including three children, were asleep at the time.
A short time later Vacaville police arrested Anthony Newbolt, Richerd Wright and Kristen Broyles, all from the Sacramento area, in connection with the firebombing. They pleaded not guilty Jan. 13 to felony charges of arson of an inhabited structure and possession of an incendiary device.
All three were ordered back to court for a Jan. 27 probable cause hearing and as of Jan. 15 they remained in jail with bail ranging between $155,000 and $290,000.
Mark Lewis proclaimed his innocence to TV station KCRA-3 and said the three suspects falsely accused him of masterminding the firebombing. The Vacaville pastor was under police investigation for the past two years for possible methamphetamine dealing, according to court records obtained Wednesday.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.