(Photo: GoFundMe page)
(OPELOUSAS, LA – April 22, 2019) – Church fires strong-armed the news last week from the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris to three black churches in Louisiana. While the three black churches were set on fire by a Sherriff’s Deputy’s son, 21-year-old Holden Matthews, the Parisian church fire is believed to have been started by a computer glitch, according to TIME.
Relief efforts began immediately, it seemed, for Notre-Dame. The world kicked-in a cool billion dollars in donations without batting an eye. The relief efforts for the black churches in Louisiana, however, didn’t seem to garner similar interest.
And then, the word got out about a crowdfunding effort to help the Louisiana churches. Journalists, citizens and political leaders all got involved. This included, no doubt, “Black Twitter”.
According to the New York Times, “Those who shared the campaign on Twitter included Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and first lady; the journalist Yashar Ali; and Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor.”
And, so, in a matter of 12 days, $2,155,530 has been raised. The goal was $1.8 million.
The leader of the fundraising effort is The Seventh District Baptist Association lead by President Freddie Jack. According to the GoFundMe page, it “is comprised of approximately 60 Baptist churches from seven parishes in Southwest Louisiana, which includes the three churches affected by the recent fires.”
Funds are to go to totally restoring the three churches. According to the crowdfunding page, the host, the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149-year-old non-profit religious 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.”
The page also states:”The donations received are earmarked specifically for the Seventh District’s member churches – St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.”