The FBI and ATF are investigating the cause of multiple arsons in the Bible Belt after Charleston church massacre
Days after Dylann Roof massacred nine people at Emmanuel AME Church, six predominately African-American churches in the South have been burnt to oblivion within the past week.
The first arson was reported on June 21st when officials confirmed that someone set fire to the College Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee and burned the van as well. On June 23rd, God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Ga. was set ablaze. The front doors were wired shut and firefighters had to enter through a side door, but the damage was already done. Associate Pastor Jeanette Dudley told WMAZ, “I just couldn’t believe it. I cried.”
On June 24th, Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte was torched to the ground. Investigators determined that the fire was also deliberately started. Police are still investigating the fire that destroyed Glover Grove Baptist Church, leaving the congregation in utter disbelief. Adonica Simpkins who lives next to the church said,
The way things are happening these days, you never can say. I actually think it might be a hate crime.”
On June 26th, another morning fire destroyed Tallahassee’s Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church. Lightning is suspected in a fire that destroyed the Fruitland Presbyterian Church in Gibson County, Tennessee on Wednesday. The causes of all the fires remain under investigation as officials say it could be electrical or possible foul play.