Arsonists Set Black Church On Fire in Mississippi, Paint ‘Vote Trump’ on It

By Yessenia Funes Nov 02, 2016

Last night (November 1), arsonists set fire to Hopewell Baptist Church, which has stood for over 111 years in Greenville, Mississippi, spray painting “Vote Trump” across the burned exterior. It is being investigated as a hate crime, and the Greenville Police Department reports that there is a person of interest, but no suspects. No injuries have been reported. 

Four units responded to a fire at Hopewell after police received a call at 9:16 p.m. The church was fully engulfed in flames, according to details released at a press conference this morning (November 2). The building is still intact, but visibly damaged with water and smoke damage.

At the press conference, Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons called the crime “heinous,” “hateful,” “evil,” and “cowardly” and said state and federal authorities have been contacted. “We will not rest until the culprit is found and fully prosecuted,” Simmons said.

“That should not happen in 2016,” the mayor continued. “It happened in the ’50s. It happened in the ’60s, but we’re in 2016, and that should not happen. I see that as an attack. I see it as a strategy, an evil one, to deprive or intimidate or invoke fear in folks’ civil liberties and rights that they enjoy in this country—that we all should enjoy—in this country.”

Fundraiser J. Blair Reeves Jr. launched a GoFundMe today to raise money to help rebuild. As of publication, the fund had raised nearly $15,000.


* The post has been updated to reflect that the GoFundMe creator, J. Blair Reeves Jr., is not an usher at the church, but a user of the website GoFundMe. "Fundraiser" was used to describe him for clarity.