by Diana Chandler
Arson had been confirmed in at least two of the fires as of today (July 2) but none had been deemed hate crimes. One of the churches is Southern Baptist.
Southern Baptist leaders voiced outcry at the arsons in comments to Baptist Press.
While the fires are still under investigation, Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd said “racism and prejudice must cease.”
"The continuation of African American churches being burned in our nation is highly concerning to me,” said Floyd, pastor of the Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. “Our Southern Baptist family hurts for our brothers and sisters who have suffered these devastating losses, especially those who are suffering at the hands of individuals who purposely inflict harm. As members of the family of God, we stand with them in prayer and encouragement.”
K. Marshall Williams, president of National African American Fellowship of the SBC and pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pa., called the arsons “the manifestation of sinful and wicked humanity...”