Tracking Cristobal

Millions of dollars pour in for three St. Landry Parish destroyed by fire


Millions of dollars have been donated to help rebuild the three historically black St. Landry Parish churches burned down by an arsonist in recent weeks.

“You hear about stuff like this happening all over in these big cities. But to hear it happening here around Opelousas and Port Barre… It’s strange hearing it happening around here,” said St. Landry Parish resident, Chance Cormier.

An example of one of those big cities Cormier is talking about: Paris, France. 

With the recent blaze that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral, people from all over pledged to donate money to help rebuild. Then a viral tweet from journalist Yashar Ali inspired thousands to donate here in Acadiana.

In just a little over a week, more than $2 million has been raised through a GoFundMe account, and residents of St. Landry Parish couldn’t be more thankful.

“It’s just great to see the outpour of help and support that our little parish is getting,” said Amy Perron.

“It’s really amazing that even the famous people contributed,” added Cormier.

All money collected will be dispersed evenly between the three churches.

And while the churches can’t start rebuilding just yet, they’re still planning on celebrating Easter Sunday.

News 10 spoke to the pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on how his congregration will celebrate this Easter.

“We’ll celebrate the ressurection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, at the Equin Center on Harry Guilbeau Road here in Opelousas,” said Pastor Gerald Toussaint.

And even though the congregation won’t be able to meet inside their church building, Toussaint says he’s got high hopes for his church.

“It’s bright because we stayed positive… You can’t let bad things that happen pull you down. You gotta look up. They say ‘you gotta look to the hills from which comes help. And my help comes from the Lord,” the pastor. 

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