Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Local Pastor Calvin Moore Ask Congregants of Burned Black Churches to Forgive Arsonist

(William Widmer/The New York Times via Redux) The remains of St. Mary Baptist Church after a fire days earlier, in Port Barre, La., April 6, 2019.

Days after authorities arrested suspect Holden Matthews, who has ties to Satanism, for the burning of three historically black churches in Louisiana, state Gov. John Bel Edwards along with a local pastor called on congregants of the affected churches to forgive.

Speaking at a unity service at Little Zion Baptist Church in Opelousas, which was held for the families of St. Mary, Greater Union, and Mount Pleasant Baptist Churches, which were destroyed over the last three weeks, Edwards said he was moved by the push in the community to help rebuild the churches.

“When you get people from across the state from different faith traditions of whites and blacks and so forth, to come together, I just think it says something special about our state, it says something special about our faith community in our state and I continue to be inspired by the goodness of the people of Louisiana. That’s what was on display today,” said Edwards.

“I was delighted to see so many people come from so far. And the generosity of congregations and individuals all across the state of Louisiana to help these churches to rebuild,” he said, according to a KLFY report.

Both Edwards and Pastor Calvin Moore of Little Zion Baptist Church agreed that it would be better for the congregants to respond to Matthews with forgiveness.

“We have to forgive. We cannot hold grudges. The Bible teaches us to forgive. Let that go and let us come together,” Moore urged.

Harry Richard, pastor of the destroyed Greater Union Baptist Church, said of the service, “Christ’s body is still alive and well and this is a powerful demonstration of how God’s people can come together and make the burden of tragedy good and we appreciate that.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair