Mississippi Church Burned And Vandalized With 'Vote Trump'

Late on Tuesday evening, a black church in Mississippi was burned and vandalized with pro-Donald Trump graffiti.

Around 9:15 p.m., law enforcement authorities received a 911 call reporting that the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi had been set on fire.

(Photo: Angie Quezada / Delta Daily News)

The police and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries in this frightening incident.

The bulk of the burn damage happened at the Church's main sanctuary. Along the side of the building, the perpetrators wrote the words "Vote Trump."

According to what a woman at the nearby Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church told the Huffington Post, the 111-year-old Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church is a historically black church.

Pastor Carolyn Hudson said during a news conference, " We do believe that God will allow us to build another sanctuary in that same place."

The police are treating the situation as a hate crime and saying that the incident amounts to an act of voter intimidation, according to CNN.

Greenville Police Chief Delando Wilson said during a news conference, "It tries to push your beliefs on someone else, and this is a church, a predominantly black church, and no one has a right to try and ... pressure someone into the way they want to decide to vote in this election."

The most recent census data indicates that the west Mississippi city located near the Arkansas border has about 33,000 residents. The population is about 78% black.

Mayor Errick Simmons has already spoken to the church's 200 congregants that were feeling fearful and intimidated.

The congregants of the church thought that the vandalism was not only an attack on the church but also the black community, Simmons said.

"It happened in the '50s, it happened in the '60s, but we're in 2016 and that should not happen," Simmons said.

The FBI office in the state capital of Jackson stated that because it is an African-American church, the bureau is working "with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to determine is any civil rights crimes were committed."

ATF special agent Joseph Frank said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting the Mississippi State Fire Marshal's Office in the investigation.

On Wednesday morning, ATF agents weren't able to enter the burned structure because the building was still too hot.


What are your thoughts on this black church being burned and vandalized with pro-Donald Trump graffiti?

[H/T Huffington Post, CNN]