AFRICANGLOBE – A predominately Black church in North Carolina was intentionally set ablaze, authorities said.
Charlotte fire officials are looking into whether Wednesday morning’s arson at Briar Creek Baptist Church was a hate crime. Although there were no initial indications that the crime was motivated by hate, officials haven’t ruled it out, fire investigator David Williams told reporters.
The blaze caused about $250,000 in damage.
Pastor Mannix Kinsey said the church’s congregation has already forgiven the culprit. “Buildings can be repaired, they can be built over,” Kinsey told reporters. “This is the opportunity for God to touch the hearts of individuals.”
Investigators say an arsonist is to blame for a fire which caused $250,000 in damage to the Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte. Charlotte Fire Dept. Crews arrived at the church about 1 a.m. on Wednesday after residents in a nearby apartment complex reported seeing flames. It took more than 75 firefighters to bring the three-alarm inferno under control.
While the sanctuary was spared, the ceiling collapsed and there was significant damage to an area used for a kids’ summer camp.
Investigators are examining hate as a possible motive because Briar Creek Baptist Church is an 85-member church with a mostly Black congregation.
The arson attack came a week after a mass shooting at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
By: Shamar Walters
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