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Last night in Greenville, MS a predominantly African-American church was set ablaze and the words “Vote Trump” spray painted on the side of the building. The Hopewell Baptist Church was reported on fire at approximately 9:15 last night, and it appears there were no injuries. According to the Delta Daily News, Mississippi fire marshals and ATF agents were on the scene last night. Another local reporter, Therese Apel, tweeted that the FBI was aware of the situation
A press conference was scheduled for 10:30 and we will share if we learn more
The Atlantic magazine has an excellent piece (with a salacious headline) about this event here
A local paper, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger has a story that includes statements from the press conference:
“Police Chief Delando Wilson said investigators worked all night to collect evidence. “At this moment, they’re interviewing possible witnesses,” he said. “We don’t have any suspects at this time. We are talking to a person of interest.”
He knows of no surveillance video that might have captured images of those responsible.
Fire Chief Ruben Brown Sr. said they received a call at 9:16 p.m., finding the church engulfed in flames.
Hopewell received heavy water and smoke damage, he said. “The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation. Samples have been taken.”
The Rev. Carolyn Hudson, the pastor of Hopewell, said the congregation of 200 members plans to rebuild.
“Our hearts are broken, but we are not angry,” she said. “We are saddened, but we do know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord.”
Simmons saw the burning as “an attack on the black church and the black community,” he said. “This happened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s. This should not happen in 2016.”
[Mayor Errick D. Simmons said] “The only way to conquer hate is love,” he said. “We must show love, respect and dignity to each other.”
An online fund has been established to raise money for the church, telling readers, “Can we help show the world, the country, and most importantly, the churchgoers of Hopewell Baptist that we, as a society, are better than this? Please give.””
image: Angie Quezada, Delta Daily News