Black Church Burnings

Summary

The wave of church burnings in the South received a great deal of attention. The problem grew into a national concern. This site provides general information on the problem and links to other sites with more detailed data.

Who is Burning Black Churches?

Since the early 1990's, Black Churches in the south were the target of several arson attacks. According to the Center for Democratic Renewal , "the greatest number of church burnings are happening in nine Southern states: Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Virginia." Eighty (80) mostly rural, historically Black churches were firebombed, burned or vandalized since 1990. In 1996, the pace picked up, with (as of 6/10/96) 28 incidents since January, 1996.

Several Church-based and other groups The National Council of Churches , the United Church of Christ , the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Center for Democratic Renewal have been actively working to investigate and record these incidents. These groups have "provided technical assistance, spiritual guidance, legal advice, and worked to develop an ongoing strategy to identify resources to begin the rebuilding and restoration of these historically Black and multiracial landmarks."

These attacks occurred at night, between 12 midnight and 7am. Most of the persons arrested have been white males between the ages of 14 and 45, many of them from middle class suburban families. Using accelerants and firebombs to start the fires, they traveled in groups of two to five persons.

Initially, law enforcement officials were slow to respond to the problem. Subsequently, they increased the pace of investigations, however, as additional resources were added. These resources included more officers, the creation of a Federal Task force to review these incidents, and the publication of a number to call to report information concerning these crimes (888-855-5000). For more information, contact The Department of Justice.

Site posted in July, 1996, the first and still the only American financial institution to provide this information on a website. (I guess the other guys were too busy stealing, uhhh, I mean, making money in the late '90's to pay much attention....;)Thanks for stopping by!

List of incidents

1. January 5, 1990 - Apostolic Faith Assembly Church, Louisville, KY

2. January 6, 1990--Asbury Chapel AME Church, Louisville, KY.

3. August 11, 1991- Thornwell Orphanage, Clinton, SC.

4. October 8, 1991- Sandhill's Freewill Baptist Church, Hemingway, SC.

5. December, 1991-Barren River Baptist Church, Bowling Green, KY.

6. February, 1992--Rock Springs Baptist Church, McDonough, GA.

7. October 21, 1992- Tucker Baptist Church, Union, SC.

8. April 4, 1993--Springhill Freewill Baptist Church, McComb, MS.

9. April 4, 1993-Rocky Point Missionary Baptist, McComb, MS.

10. April 19, 1993- Camp Welfare Baptist Church, Fairfield, SC.

11. May 19, 1993-- St. Stephens Baptist Church, St. Stephen, SC.

12. January 17, 1994-Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

13. February, 1994-Bucks Chapel Church, Summer County, AL.

14. February, 1994-Pine Top Baptist, Summer County, AL.

15. February, 1994-Oak Grove Missionary Church, Summer County, AL.

16. February 19, 1994-Rock Hill Baptist Church, Aiken County, SC.

17. February 25, 1994-Old Rosemary Baptist Church, Aiken County, SC.

18. June 6, 1994-Jerusalem Baptist Church, Aiken, S.C.

19. July 21, 1994-Springfield Baptist Church, Madison, GA.

20. July 21, 1994-Elam Baptist Church, Jones County, GA.

21. August 5, 1994-Greater Missionary Baptist Church, Clarkesville, TN.

22. August, 1994--Benevolent Lodge #210, Clarkesville, TN.

23. September 8, 1994-Rice's Chapel, Buffalo, SC.

24. September 8, 1994-New Wright's Chapel, Shelby County, TN.

25. September 8, 1994-Dec. 31, 1995--Five(S) churches, Memphis, TN.

26. October 8, 1994- Shrub Branch Baptist Church, Blackville, SC.

27. October 23, 1994- St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Cades, SC.

28. December 30, 1994--Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Fruitland, TN.

29. January 1, 1995-Bluff Road U.M.C., Columbia, S.C.

30. January 13, 1995--Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Crockett County, TN.

31. January 29, 1995-Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Columbia, TN.

32. January 29, 1995-Canaan AME, Mt. Pleasant, TN.

33. January 31, 1995-Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Bolivar, TN.

34. March 9, 1995--Hammond Grove Baptist Church, N. Augusta, S.C.

35. March 24, 1995- Sike Savannah Methodist Church, Ruffin, SC.

36. May 4, 1995- La Luz Del Mundo, Wahalla, SC.

37. May 21, 1995-Summer Grove Baptist Church, Aiken, SC.

38. June 20, 1995-Mt. Zion AME Church, Greeleyville, S.C.

39. June 22, 1995--Macedonia Baptist Church, Manning, S.C.

40. August 15, 1995-St. John's Baptist Church, Dixiana, S.C.

41. October 14, 1995-Zion Chapel AME, Sun, LA.

42. October 20, 1995- Sandy Grove, Bennettsville, SC.

43. October 1, 1995-Islamic Mosque, Greenville, SC

44. December 1, 1995--Mount Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Aiken County, SC.

45. December 11, 1995-Jerusalem Baptist Church, Boligee, AL.

46. December 13, 1995- Jesus Christ Holy Gospel, Laurens, SC.

47. December 22, 1995-Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Boligee, AL.

48. December 25, 1995-Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Hillsborough, NC.

49. January 8, 1996--Inner City Church, Knoxville, TN.

50. January 11, 1996--Little Zion Baptist Church, Boligee, AL.

51. January 11, 1996--Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Boligee, AL.

52. January 22, 1996--New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Lee County, Ark.

53. February 1, 1996--Cypress Grove Baptist Church, Zachary, LA.

54. February 1, 1996--St. Paul Baptist Church, Baker, LA.

55. February 1, 1996-Sweet Home Baptist Church, Baker, LA.

56. February 1, 1996-Thomas Benevolent Society, Baker, LA.

57. February 21, 1996-Glorious Church of God and Christ, Richmond, VA.

58. February 28, 1996-New Liberty Baptist Church, Tyler, AL.

59. March 1996-Gays Hill Baptist Church, Miller, GA.

60. March 1996-Butler Chapel A.M.E., Orangeburg, SC.

61. March 5, 1996-St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Hatley, MS.

62. March 10, 1996--Falling Meadows Baptist Church, West Point, MS.

63. March 25, 1996-Central Baptist Church, Dallas County, AL.

64. March, 1996-El Bethel Church, Yazoo County MS

65. April 7, 1996-St. Paul's Primitive Baptist Church, Lauderdale, MS.

66. April 11, 1996-Mt. Charles Church, Raincourtville, LA.

67. April 13, 1996- Rosemary Baptist Church, Barnwell, S.C.

68. April 26, 1996-Effingham Baptist Church, Florence County, S.C.

69. May 14, 1996-Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Tigrett, TN.

70. May 17, 1996-Three (3) African American Churches, Desha County, Ark.

71. May 23, 1996--Mount Tabor Baptist Church, Cerro Gordo, NC.

72. May 24, 1996-- Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Lumberton, NC.

SOURCE: CENTER FOR DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL

For further information

The National Council of Churches

Washington Post articles

The United Methodist Church

U.S. Investigates Suspicious Fires at Southern Black Churches

Rebuilding Burned Churches

Hate Crime Data Collection Project

Information on Church Arson

Burned Methodist Churches 1990-2000

10 Essential Steps for dealing with hate groups before and after they come to town.

The Center for Democratic Renewal, PO Box 50469, Atlanta, GA 30302 - E-mail cdr@igc.apc.org

Southern Church Task Force, The Department of Justice. US Dept. of Justice, Wash., DC 20530 (888-855-5000).