Little Hope Was Arson
East Texas, affectionately referred to by locals as “the Buckle of the Bible Belt,” is home to over 1,400 churches. Every aspect of life is centered on these houses of worship.
January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt, 10 churches burn to the ground in just over a month igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. No stone is left unturned and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this gripping investigation of a community terrorized from the inside-out. Families are torn apart and communities of faith struggle with forgiveness and justice in this incredible true story.
“Little Hope Was Arson” is a feature-length documentary produced by the Collaborate & Goodnight Smoke.
“Little Hope Was Arson” is an amazing documentary about forgiveness. It powerfully shows that good can come out of difficult and tragic circumstances, even through the ten church fires that took place in East Texas in 2010. The documentary does a thorough job speaking with family members of Jason Bourque and Daniel McAllister, the two young men ages 19 and 21 who committed the arsons. We hear from Daniel’s sister Christy, a Christian woman who worked as a law official and cooperated with police. We hear from Jason’s grandparents about the hurt and pain they endured. We also hear from pastors and congregants of the churches.
The picture is painted of two boys who felt disappointment with God, although Jason vows to this day that he is still not sure why he did what he did, other than explaining it as a by-product of the medication he was taking to quit smoking. Daniel’s mother died and it hit him and his family hard. Jason prayed for a relationship with a girl to work out but that subsequently ended. Yet today, in prison, both young men regularly read the Bible.
The title, “Little Hope Was Arson,” comes from scratching on a bathroom stall that apparently Jason carved, letting people know that the one church fire not confirmed as arson was indeed arson. Viewers will be amazed as one pastor tells the young men at their sentencing that if the church had failed them to please forgive them, and that the church forgives them. Another pastor had been the boys’ youth pastor and feels he let them down. This is an eye-opening documentary that demonstrates the hurt people often must face, and the forgiveness and grace that God sprinkles into their lives. This film has earned five Doves from us, our highest rating. It receives the “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus, due to several mentions of drug use and one curse word. This documentary does a grand job showing the struggles of life and the hope that always remains in God.