After Donations For Notre Dame, Black Churches Burned In Louisiana Receive Over $1M In Aid To Rebuild

Firefighters and fire investigators respond to a fire at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Opelousas, La. Authorities in southern Louisiana are investigating a string of "suspicious" fires at three African American churches in recent days. Fire Marshal H. "Butch" Browning said it wasn't clear whether the fires in St. Landry Parish are connected and he declined to get into specifics of what the investigation had yielded so far but described the blazes as "suspicious." (Leslie Westbrook/The Advocate via AP)

After social media called out the blatant hypocrisy over Americans throwing their support and wallets behind the rebuilding of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a spike in donations received for three historically Black churches affected by a sting of fires has dramatically increased.

The GoFundMe page which was first launched on April 10 by the Seventh District Baptist Association, has seen a total of over $1.3 million in contributions, nearing its $1.8 million goal.

“The host of this campaign is the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149 year old non-profit religious organization,” the host organization wrote on the crowdfunding page. The association is made up of over 60 Baptist churches across Louisiana.

“We are 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 number is a drastic change from the $150,000 in donations it received prior to the Notre Dame fire, and was mostly due to the efforts of Black and brown social media users who pushed for financial support. Their voices raised in unison made it obvious that there was a disconnect over the emotion displayed for Notre Dame’s Cathedral in relation to what happened on U.S. soil.

Prominent figures such as Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Valerie Jarrett also shared the link for the page and or made donations, prompting more people to join in the effort.

The funds will help to rebuild three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish which were burned down over the course of 10 days: St. Mary Baptist Church on March 26, Greater Union Baptist Church on April 2 and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on April 4. Officials have arrested Holden Matthews, 21, in connection with the fires. Matthews, a white man, is also the son of the deputy sheriff, and faces arson and hate crime charges in the case.