Investigators Probe Fires At 6 Black Churches In 5 Southern States

Hundreds of people attend a sidewalk memorial to the shooting victims in front of Emanuel AME Church, Friday, June 19, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)  MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT
Hundreds of people attend a sidewalk memorial to the shooting victims in front of Emanuel AME Church, Friday, June 19, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) 

Sam Sanders, NPR

 

 

(NPR.com) — Glover Grove Baptist Church is nestled in a woody, quiet part of Warrenville, South Carolina, surrounded by trailer homes and old cars. The congregation is small, about 35 people according to local reports. You have to look hard online just to find a phone number or an address.

Hours before President Barack Obama spoke to a packed house in Charleston last Friday in another black church, delivering the eulogy for State Senator Clementa Pinckney, Glover Grove Baptist Church burned to the ground.

It is one of at least six black church burnings in the South, all of which have taken place in the week-and-a-half since nine people were killed in Emanuel AME Church.

Fires in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Knoxville, Tennessee, are both being investigated as arson. Authorities in Macon, Georgia, are investigating another there as “suspicious.” A fire at a Tallahasee, Florida, church was likely caused by electrical problems, authorities have said. Another in Gibson County, Tennessee, may have been caused by lightning. One burning in Charlotte is being investigated to determine if it could have been a hate crime.

 

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