An African-American church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and vandalized late Tuesday evening. Hopewell Baptist Church reportedly went up in flames around 9:15 pm, according to Greenville Fire Chief Ruben Brown. The words “Vote Trump” were also spray painted on the right side of the church.
ATF and State Fire Marshals arrived on the scene last night and there were no reported injuries. Brown determined that the majority of the fire damage was in the main sanctuary and took 12 minutes to extinguish once firefighters arrived on the scene.
The FBI is also investigating the incident according to crime and breaking news reporter Therese Apel:
From the FBI on the Greenville Church incident. More to come. pic.twitter.com/LAxrsnHxLz
— Therese Apel (@TRex21) November 2, 2016
Officials stated in a press conference this morning that the matter is being investigated as a hate crime.
The pastor of the church stated, “Our church was a historic church. It had been there for over 111 years and our hearts are broken. But we are not angry, but hearts are broken.”
This is a developing story and witnesses are urged provide any information related to the incident to the Greenville Police Department.