Lafayette, La., Nov 4, 2019 / 14:30 pm
Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana raised more than $50,000 for three black Baptist churches that were the targets of arson attacks that have been characterized as hate crimes.
Bishop Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette presented the funds to the pastors of the affected Baptist churches on Thursday at the site of one of the former churches.
Pastor Harry Richard of Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas, Pastor Gerald Toussaint of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, and Pastor Kyle Sylvester of St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, accepted the donations on behalf of their congregations.
Between March 26 and April 4, each of these predominantly black Baptist churches in St. Landry Parish in Louisiana was destroyed by arson. KTA 5 News in Louisiana reported at the time that pastors of other local Baptist parishes began sleeping in their churches in order to fend off other possible attacks.