his is a church on fire. This is the heart of Evangelical country. This is Trinity Christian Center, an ecstatic congregation crying out for Jesus in a converted Kmart half a mile from Columbine. As the casino shut down in the school gym, the faithful rose across the Front Range. They spilled out into the aisles of Trinity Christian, heaving and rumbling like an old-time tent revival. The frenzied throng thrust two hundred arms toward the heavens, belting out the spirit their souls just couldn't contain. The choir drove them higher. It ripped through the chorus of Hillsong's burning anthem and the crowd surged. This is a church on fire... We have a burning desire... No one had the fever like a sunburned high school girl, radiating from the choir like the orchids splashed across her sundress. She threw her head back, squeezed her eyes shut, and kept singing, her lips charging straight through the instrumental jam. Since pioneer days and the Second Great Awakening, Colorado had been a hotbed on the itinerant ministry circuit. By the 1990s, Colorado Springs was christened the Evangelical Vatican. The city of Denver seemed immune to the fervor, but its western suburbs were roiling. Nowhere did the spirit move more strongly than at Trinity Christian Center. They had a savior to reach out to and The Enemy to repel. Satan was at work in Jefferson County, any Bible-church pastor would tell you so. Long before Eric and Dylan struck, tens of thousands of Columbine Evangelicals prepared for the dark prince. The Enemy, they called him. He was always on the prowl. Columbine sits three miles east of the foothills. Closer to the peaks, property values rise steadily, in tandem with decorum. In comparison to Trinity Christian, upscale congregations like Foothills Bible Church mount Broadway productions. Foothills Pastor Bill Oudemolen took stage like the quintessential televangelist: blow-dried, swept-back helmet hair, crisp tie, and tailored Armani suit in muted earth tones. But the stereotype dissolved when he opened his mouth. He was sincere, sharp-witted, and intellectual. He rebuked ministry-for-money preachers and their get-saved-quick schemes. West Bowles Community Church lay between other megachurches geographically, socioeconomically, and intellectually. Like Oudemolen, Pastor George Kirsten was a biblical literalist. He was contemptuous of peers obsessed with a loving Savior. His Christ had a vengeful side. Love was an easy sell--that missed half the story. "That's offensive to me," Kirsten said. He preached a strict, black-and-white moral code. "People want to paint the world in a lot of gray," he said. "I don't see that in the Scripture." Religion did not mean an hour a week on Sundays to this crowd. There was Bible study, youth group, fellowship, and retreats. The "thought for the day" started the morning; Scripture came before bed. West Bowles kids roamed the halls of Columbine sporting WWJD? bracelets--What Would Jesus Do?--and exchanging Christian rock CDs. Occasionally, they witnessed to the unbelievers or argued Scripture with the mainline Protestants. The Columbine Bible Study group met at the school once a week; its major challenges were resisting temptation, adhering to a higher standard, and acting as worthy servants of Christ. Its members kept a vigilant eye out for The Enemy. Pastors Kirsten and Oudemolen spoke of Satan frequently. Reverend Oudemolen called him by name; Kirsten preferred The Enemy. Either way, Satan was more than a symbol of evil--he was an actual, physical entity, hungry for compliant souls. He snatched the most unlikely targets. Who would have expected Cassie Bernall to fall? She was the angelic blond junior who'd dressed up for a function at the Marriott on Saturday instead of prom. She was scheduled to speak at her church's youth group meeting on Tuesday. Cassie's house sat right beside Columbine property, but it was only her second year at the school. She'd transferred in from Christian Fellowship School. She had begged her parents to make the move. The Lord had spoken to Cassie. He wanted her to witness to the unbelievers at Columbine. ____ Monday morning was uneventful. Lots of bleary eyes from Saturday's all-nighter, lots of chatter about who did what. All Mr. D's kids had made it back. A handful peeked through his doorway with big grins. "Just wanted you to see our bright, shining faces," they said. Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Fuselier was a little on edge Monday. He headed the FBI's domestic terrorism unit in Denver, and April 19 was a dangerous day in the region. The worst disaster in FBI history had erupted six years earlier and retaliation followed exactly two years after. On April 19, 1993, the Bureau ended a fifty-one-day standoff with the Branch Davidian cult near Waco, Texas, by storming the compound. A massive fire had erupted and most of the eighty inhabitants burned to death--adults and children. Agent Fuselier was one of the nation's foremost hostage negotiators. He spent six weeks trying to talk the Davidians out. Fuselier had opposed the attack on the compound, but lost. Just before storming in, the FBI gave Fuselier one final chance. He was the last person known to speak to Davidian leader David Koresh. He watched the compound burn. Speculation raged about the FBI's role in the blaze. The controversy nearly ended Attorney General Janet Reno's career. Waco radicalized the anti-government militia movement, made April 19 into a symbol of perverse authority. Timothy McVeigh sought vengeance by bombing the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. His explosion killed 168 people, the largest terrorist attack in American history to that point.