OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Holden Matthews, 21, faces arson charges in connection with the blazes in and around Opelousas, a city of 16,000 where the flame-gutted remains of the buildings evoked memories of civil rights era violence.
(RNS) — Investigators are trying to determine if the three fires at historic Baptist churches in Opelousas and Port Barre are related or if any of them are tied to a blaze at a Pentecostal church in the town of Vivian.
If you’re looking for (spiritual) sparks, sift through the ashes.
ST. LOUIS — Investigators have yet to confirm that race was the motive. If race or religion proves to be the reason, police will seek to have the incidents prosecuted as hate crimes.
ST. LOUIS — The latest incident is being investigated along with the five other church fires that have happened in the area since Oct. 8.
(RNS) Black church leaders debate: to arm, or not to arm?