As firefighters put out the last hot spots at Greater Union Church Tuesday morning , members of the congregation couldn’t put out their suspicions that this was no accident.
“Ironically, the church has a kitchen and that’s received the least damage so apparently it wasn’t over there and nobody was here obviously so that would lead to suspicious activity and the question that who would do something like this to a sactuary?” church member Aurthur Keys said.
The place of worship holding more than a century worth of history, according to Pastor Harry Richard.
“Our parents, grandparents went here, buried in the back there some of them are,” Richard said.
Richard worries the fire was an act of hate and promises to pray for anyone turning away from the church.
“I just hope this wasn’t done intentionally and if it was I just pray for the individual that god will speak to their heart and stop them from doing this kind of thing,”
Prayer, he says, will get his congregation through the coming months.
“Our members here are faithful people serving God. I hope that we can stick together and continue worshiping God. He’s going to bring us together and we’re going to start over again,” Richard said.
The fire happened at around at 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday. The church is located in the 1400 block of Hwy 742 in Opelousas.
The building could not be saved, according to the SFM.