After Notre Dame Fire, People Donated $1.2M+ To GoFundMe For Black Churches Burned In Louisiana

Written by Dana Sanchez
Black churches
Boarded windows align Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, after it was burned and vandalized three weeks ago. The First Baptist Church of Greenville has offered their church to the Hopewell congregation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

After the world watched Notre Dame Cathedral burn on Monday in Paris and pledged almost $1 billion in donations, three much smaller Louisiana churches razed by an arsonist also saw a big boost to their fundraising effort.

On Sunday, a GoFundMe set up to help three Black churches rebuild from arson had raised less than $50,000, Washington Post reported.

By noon Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe total had skyrocketed to more than $1.25 million.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 53: Frederick Hutson
Part 1: Jamarlin talks to justice-tech pioneer Frederick Hutson, who founded Pigeonly to create communications products for inmates and their families that reduce the destructive impact of incarceration.

Politicians, activists, celebrities and journalists spread the word on social media Tuesday about the GoFundMe campaign for the three churhes that were burned down in March and early April.

Journalist Yashar Ali asked his Twitter followers on Tuesday to match his donation to the GoFundMe campaign or contribute their own amount.

Longtime pillars of the African American community, the St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church, and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church burned within 10 days in St. Landry Parish, La.

Holden Matthews, 21, has been arrested and charged with setting the fires.
Investigators confirm the arsons were motivated by racism.

France has promised to rebuild Notre Dame. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tweeted thoughts and prayers for the Notre Dame fire but said nothing when the three Black churches burned, Washington Post reported.

These are some of the comments on the GoFundMe page set up by the Seventh District Baptist Association to rebuild the church of St. Landry County:

“Charity begins at home.. Let’s fix OUR churches….”

“Hate cannot win!”

“I’m not a Christian, but I understand that churches are often much more than a house of worship. Let’s work together to help rebuild these communities.”

“It’s the right thing to do.”

“I’m not in a position to help Notre Dame but I can help you.”

Freddie Jack, the president of the church association, said he initially set a goal of $600,000 for the fundraiser but later tripled it to $1.8 million, according to the New York Times.