List of attacks against African-American churches

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Attacks against African-American churches in the United States have taken the form of arson, bombings, mass murder, hate crimes, and white supremacist-propelled domestic terrorism. This timeline documents acts of violence against churches with predominantly black leadership and congregations.

19th Century

20th Century

1955-1959

  • 1956 December 25 Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is bombed.
  • 1957 April 28 At Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bessemer, Alabama, dynamite explodes at the rear of the church during an evening service.
  • 1958 April 28 At Temple Beth-El in Birmingham, Alabama, "a heavy rain apparently doused the burning fuse to 54 sticks of dynamite." Unknown if this temple is predominantly black.[2]
  • 1958 June 29 Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is bombed again. This time, guards remove the bombs to a ditch; the blast blows out the windows, however.[3]

1960-1964

  • 1962 January 16 New Bethel Baptist Church, St Luke's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Triumph Church, Kingdom of God, Christ Church in Birmingham, And Alabama are bombed.
  • 1962 September 25 St. Matthew's Baptist Church, Macon, Georgia, is burned. "It is the fifth church to burn in a month."[4][5]
  • 1962 December 14 At Bethel Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, a third bomb blows out the church windows.
  • 1963 August 10 St James United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, is destroyed by a "gasoline fire bomb."[6]
  • 1963 September 15 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is bombed during a Sunday church service. Twenty-two people are injured and four girls die.
  • 1964 June 16 Mount Zion Methodist Church in Longdale, Mississippi, was burned to the ground. An investigation by Mississippi civil rights workers led to their murders.

1970-1974

  • 1972 (exact date unknown) Cartersville Baptist Church, in Reston, Virginia, is burned, causing the main church to fall into the basement.[7][8]
  • 1974 June 30 At Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Alberta Williams King, mother of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Edward Boykin were killed by a man who had determined that "black ministers were a menace to black people." A third churchgoer was wounded.

1975-1979

  • 1979 December 16 Second Wilson Church, Chester, South Carolina, a meeting place for civil rights activists, is gutted by fire.

1990-1994

  • 1993 April 5 Rocky Point Missionary Baptist Church in Pike County, Mississippi, was set on fire by three teenagers who served time.[9]

1995-1999

  • 1995 January 13 Johnson Grove Baptist Church, Bells, Tennessee, is burned.
  • 1995 January 13 Macedonia Baptist Church, Denmark, Tennessee, is burned.
  • 1995 January 31 Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Hardeman County, Tennessee, is burned.
  • 1995 June 21 Outside of Manning, South Carolina, four men affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan worked together to burn down Macedonia Baptist Church and Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, both majority black churches. Arrests made. In 1998, Grand Dragon Horace King and four other Klansmen to pay $37.8 million for their roles in a conspiracy to burn Macedonia Baptist Church.[10][11]
  • 1995 August 15 St. John Baptist Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, is burned. Arrest made.
  • 1995 October 31 Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Raeford, North Carolina, is burned.
  • 1995 December 22 Mount Zion Baptist Church, Boligee, Alabama, is burned.
  • 1995 December 30 Salem Baptist Church, Gibson County, Tennessee, is burned.
  • 1996 January 6 Ohovah African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orrum, North Carolina, is burned. Arrest made.
  • 1996 January 8 Inner City Church, Knoxville, Tennessee, is burned.
  • 1996 January 11 Little Zion Baptist Church and Mount Zoar Baptist Church, Green County, Alabama, are burned.
  • 1996 February 1 Cypress Grove Baptist Church, St. Paul's Free Baptist Church, and Thomas Chapel Benevolent Society, East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are all burned.
  • 1996 February 1 Sweet Home Baptist Church, Baker, Louisiana, is burned.
  • 1996 February 21 Glorious Church of God in Christ, Richmond, Virginia, is burned.
  • 1996 February 28 New Liberty Baptist Church, Tyler, Alabama, is burned.. Arrest made.
  • 1996 March 5 St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hatley, Mississippi, is burned.
  • 1996 March 20 New Mount Zion Baptist Church, Ruleville, Mississippi, is burned.
  • 1996 March 27 Gay's Hill Baptist Church, Millen, Georgia, is burned.
  • 1996 March 30 El Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Satartia, Mississippi, is burned. Arrest made.
  • 1996 April 11 St. Charles Baptist Church, Paincourtville, Louisiana, is burned.
  • 1996 April 13 Rosemary Baptist Church, Barnwell, South Carolina, is burned.
  • 1996 April 26 Effingham Baptist Church, Effingham, South Carolina, is burned.
  • 1996 May 14 Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Tigrett, Tennessee, is burned.
  • 1996 May 23 Mount Tabor Baptist Church, Cerro Gordo, North Carolina, is burned.
  • 1996 May 24 Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina, is burned.
  • 1996 June 3 Rising Star Baptist Church, Greensboro, Alabama, is burned.
  • 1996 June 7 Matthews Murkland Presbyterian Church sanctuary, Charlotte, North Carolina, is burned.. Arrest made.
  • 1996 June 9 New Light House of Prayer and The Church of the Living God, Greenville, Texas, are burned.
  • 1996 June 12 Evangelist Temple, Marianna, Florida, is burned.
  • 1996 June 13 First Missionary Baptist Church, Enid, Oklahoma, is burned. A 35 year old mentally disabled white male who could neither read nor write was arrested for the crime.[12]
  • 1996 June 17 Hills Chapel Baptist Church, Rocky Point, North Carolina, is burned.
  • 1996 June 17 Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church and Central Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Kossuth, Mississippi, are burned.
  • 1996 June 20 Immanuel Christian Fellowship, Portland, Oregon, is burned. Antoine Jamar Dean, a black felon, was subsequently convicted of setting the fire and was sentenced to five years prison.[13]
  • 1996 June 24 New Birth Temple Church, Shreveport, Louisiana, is burned.

21st Century

2005-2009

  • 2006 July 11 A cross is burned outside a predominantly black church in Richmond, Virginia[14]
  • 2008 November 5 Macedonia Church of God in Christ, Springfield, Massachusetts, is burned out. Arrest made.[15]

2010-2014

  • 2010 In Crane, Texas, Faith in Christ Church is vandalized and firebombed by a man attempting to gain entry into the Aryan Brotherhood. Arrest made.[16]
  • 2014 Flood Christian Church in Ferguson, Mo was burned by arsonists. Flood Christian is where Michael Brown Sr. was baptized. Some attribute it to the protests which burned several other buildings that night, while others claim the building was far from where protests took place and was more likely retaliatory for the comments its pastor had made regarding the release of the officer who had shot Michael Brown Jr.[17]

2015-present

  • 2015 June 17 Charleston church shooting. At Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, nine African Americans are shot and killed and a tenth shot and survived in a mass shooting. Arrest made.
  • 2015 June 22 At College Hill Seventh Day Adventist, in Knoxville, Tennessee, a small fire is set, resulting in minimal damage to the church structure and destruction of the church van. The act was not classified as a hate crime.[18]
  • 2015 June 23 God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia, is "gutted" by a fire. The fire was ruled arson.[19][20]
  • 2015 June 24 At Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, an unknown arsonist starts a three-alarm fire, causing more than $250,000 in damages.[21]
  • 2016 November 3 110-year-old historically black Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville Mississippi was torched and vandalized with the words "Vote Trump" spray-painted onto the building. Officials said during a press conference held on Wednesday, November 2, that the incident was being investigated as a hate crime and Greenville Police Chief Freddie Cannon called the incident "a form of voting intimidation".[22]. Black member of the church, Andrew McClinton, arrested and charged with arson.[23][24][25]

References

  1. McInnis, Maurie (June 19, 2015). "The First Attack on Charleston’s AME Church." Slate. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. Temple, Chanda and Jeff Hansen (2000-07-16). "Ministers' homes, churches among bomb targets". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved 2015-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Temple, Chanda and Jeff Hansen (2000-07-16). "Ministers' homes, churches among bomb targets". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved 2015-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "History of Church Fires (photograph)". Washington Post. 1996-06-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Georgia History Timeline / Chronology 1962". Our Georgia History. Retrieved 2015-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Temple, Chanda and Jeff Hansen (2000-07-16). "Ministers' homes, churches among bomb targets". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved 2015-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Cartersville Baptist Church - Virginia Historical Markers on Waymarking.com". Waymarking. Retrieved 2015-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Finley, Taryn (2015-06-23). "The Charleston Shooting Was At Least The 91st Violent Attack On A Black Church Since 1956". Huff Post Black Voices. Retrieved 2015-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Booth, William (1996-06-19). "In Church Fires, a Pattern but No Conspiracy". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Southern Poverty Law Center (1998). "Jury Decision Against Ku Klux Klan Makes for Day of Reckoning" (91). Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. ITVS. "Forgotten Fires: Synopsis". Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Tim Cornwall (July 4, 1996). "Flames and terror in the Deep South". The Independent. Retrieved October 20, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Man Gets 5 Years for Burning Black Church". The Associated Press. October 9, 1996. Retrieved October 20, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Hate Incidents". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Violent History: Attacks on Black Churches". New York Times. 2015-06-18. Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Forsyth, Jim (2011-11-30). "Texas man sentenced to 37 years for fire bombing church". Reuters. Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2849736/Church-attended-Michael-Brown-s-family-destroyed-Monday-night-s-protests.html
  18. Rook, Brandon (2015-06-22). "Arson under investigation at African-American church in Knoxville". WATE. Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Davis, Claire, with Sheera Poelman, 13WMAZ Staff (2015-06-24). "Cause of Macon fire ruled "suspicious"". WMAZ. Retrieved 2015-06-29. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Bever, Lindsay (2015-06-29). "Six predominately black Southern churches burn within a week; arson suspected in at least three". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-06-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Kaplan, Sarah (2015-06-25). "A black church in North Carolina was deliberately set ablaze, officials say". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-06-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. http://www.wdam.com/story/33592564/church-in-greenville-burned-and-spray-painted-vote-trump
  23. Cliver R. Wootson, Jr. (November 3, 2016). "Black church torched in Mississippi, with 'Vote Trump' painted on wall". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 22, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Emily Wagster Pettus (December 21, 2016). "Mississippi church member charged in 'Vote Trump' arson". Associated Press. Retrieved December 22, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Congregation member arrested in black church burning in Mississippi". CBS. December 21, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Notes