POLITICS
11/02/2016 10:35 am ET Updated Dec 21, 2016

Black Mississippi Church Burned And Vandalized With 'Vote Trump'

There were no reported injuries.
The Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and vandalized Tuesday night.
Angie Quezada/Delta Daily News
The Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and vandalized Tuesday night.

A black church in Mississippi was burned and vandalized with pro-Donald Trump graffiti late Tuesday. 

Authorities responded to the fire at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, Tuesday night. Delta Daily News reports that the majority of the damage was to the main sanctuary and there were no reported injuries. Someone had spray-painted the words “Vote Trump” along the side of the building.

A woman at the nearby Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church told The Huffington Post that Hopewell is a historically black church. She said the community is in shock over what happened. 

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the incident “a heinous, hateful and cowardly act” in a press conference Wednesday, adding that it was “an attack on the black church and the black community.”

“This happened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s,” he said. “This should not happen in 2016.”

Police Chief Delando Wilson said police are interviewing witnesses and talking to “a person of interest,” although there are no suspects yet.

The FBI told The Clarion-Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, that it is aware of the situation and is investigating to “determine if any civil rights crimes were committed.”

There is already a GoFundMe page raising money to repair the church. GoFundMe told HuffPost it is working with the organizer of the page and will only release the funds to the church directly.

The sanctuary of the church sustained the most damage.
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
The sanctuary of the church sustained the most damage.
Greenvile Fire Chief Ruben Brown said firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the sanctuary just after 9 p.m. Tuesday
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
Greenvile Fire Chief Ruben Brown said firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the sanctuary just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Bishop Clarence Green is the pastor at the 200-member Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. 
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
Bishop Clarence Green is the pastor at the 200-member Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. 

UPDATE: Dec. 21 ― The man who was arrested in the burning and vandalizing of the church is a member of its congregation, the Associated Press reported.


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