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Vice President Pence Meets With St. Landry Parish Church Fire Pastors

May 04, 2019 11:04AM ● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.

In a sign of unity and respect, Vice President Pence flew to Lafayette, Louisiana on Friday to meet with the pastors of the three St. Landry Parish Churches that were burned down just over a month ago in a string of suspected hate-crime arsons.  

Upon his arrival in Lafayette, the Vice President was joined by a contingent of Louisiana elected officials, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry along with most of the Louisiana Congressional delegation. After a brief stay at the Lafayette Regional Airport, they were driven via motorcade to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in St. Landry Parish where the VP spoke and prayed with those in attendance.


“...attacks on communities of faith must stop... sadly, we live in a time when attacks on Reverend Harry Richard, of Greater Union Baptist Church, said he was appreciative of the elected officials continued support and for the presence of Vice President Pence. communities of faith have been all too frequent. The fires here at Mt. Pleasant, Greater Union and St. Mary’s are part of a story that continued last week in California at a synagogue, last fall in Pittsburgh, at a mosque in New Zealand and at churches on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka,” said Pence.

Reverend Kyle Sylvester, of St. Mary Baptist Church, said he was happy to receive the White House’s support and felt Pence came with a sensitive spirit.

Reverend Gerald Toussaint, of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, called for an end to hate in America and asked Americans to turn their focus to love and do what’s best for your neighbor--your fellow man.”

 Holden Matthews (21) was arrested on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 for setting the fires that destroyed three churches in St. Landry Parish. The fires were set on March 26, April 2, and April 4, destroying the St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church, and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

Matthews is being held in jail without bond.  The District Attorney has charged him with three state hate crime and arson charges. He has pleaded not guilty. 

Photos by Flint Zerangue, Parish News

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