Since the news that three historically black churches in Landry County, LA were burned over the two-week period between March 26th and April 2, the Celebration of Abraham has wrestled with how to respond in a way that says to our black community, we will walk along side of you. Today we learned of a way to show that we care about our Christian brothers and sisters at these black churches. Specifically, our community can help repair the damage done to these important religious communities by donating to the GO FUND ME campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/f/church-fires-st-landry-parishmacedonia-ministry (or type “gofundme seventh district” in your search engine) organized by the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149 year old non-profit religious organization.
Some background: All three of the churches were over one-hundred years old and have served as centers for spiritual growth, organizing and healing in response to the racism their members have encountered as they have tried to offer Christian witness in a culture that systematically oppresses black people. Historically, attacks on black churches have been part of terror campaigns. Investigations into the fires by local law enforcement and the FBI are ongoing. Last week Earl Taylor, the district attorney for St. Landry Parish, charged Holden Matthews with setting the fires. On Monday April 15th, the district attorney filed additional hate crime charges against Mr. Matthews. As the hate crime charges demonstrating that the consequences of these fires must be seen as more than property crimes, the fires are an attack on black communities.
The Celebration of Abraham hopes that members of our religious communities will go to the fundraising page to learn more about the fires, their consequences, and the plans of the affected communities to recover, and then prayerfully consider donating to the campaign to rebuild the churches and the religious communities they foster in Landry County, LA.
Chair of Celebration of Abraham