A small, predominately, black church in Charlotte, North Carolina caught fire leading authorities to suspect either arson or a hate crime.
Co-Pastor Rhonda Kinsey of Briar Creek Road Baptist Church was in awe upon realizing the church was intentionally set on fire.
“You hear about it, but you never imagine you would have a fire at your church,” Kinsey said.
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It took more than an hour and about 75 firefighters to extinguish the blaze. Despite most of the sanctuary still being in tact, the entire rear of the church was destroyed, which means the summer programs for about 30 children will be canceled.
While authorities do have a list of suspects, but they’re hoping to speak with other community members to see if anyone can offer any leads.
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Learning of the deliberate attack on the church has only strengthened the faith of its members.
“When I did think about the possibilities of there being any ugliness behind this, I instantly start praying and just saying: ‘God, just please have mercy,'” Kinsey said.