Following the devastating news that three historically black churches in Louisiana had burned down due to suspected hate crimes, a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $1 million from almost 20,000 donors in under a week.
The campaign is titled “Seventh District Baptist Church Fires St Landry” and was launched on April 10th by the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149-year-old non-profit religious organization. On the page, it's noted that the organization is "working with the Governor of Louisiana, local leaders, elected officials, the impacted churches and their pastors, other faith organizations and the community to ensure 100% of all funds raised will be evenly distributed to the three churches affected."
Just last week, the son of Louisiana Deputy Roy Matthews of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office was arrested and charged with three counts of simple arson over the string of fires, as 21-year-old Holden Matthews was booked into St. Landry Parish jail after his father reportedly turned him in.
During a court appearance on Monday (April 15), prosecutors filed new hate crime charges against Matthews, while later denying his bond request citing the “substantial amount of evidence” against him.
Meanwhile, it's also been noted that the campaign began trending on GoFundMe after the devastating fire that severely damaged France's historic Notre Dame Cathedral earlier in the week, subsequently drawing attention to recent church fires across the United States.
The goal for the GoFundMe is $1.8M and here is the link to donate: