Opelousas pastors ready to recover and rebuild, following arrest in string of church fires

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There were many mixed emotions when the local pastors affected by the string of church fires heard the news of an arrest being made. Many were received that some questions are being answered, but feel there is still a long road to recovery for St. Landry Parish. 

“Now, my concern is when do we get back to normal. When do we put our church family back in their home,” said Pastor Harry Richard of Greater Union Baptist Church.  

Richard saw the last of Greater Union Baptist Church on April 2nd when it went up in flames. Just eight days later an arrest was made in the string of historically black churches catching on fire. 

“Initially I was relieved. I was hoping that this is the only individual involved and that now we can start healing,” said Richard. 

While the question remains on the possible motive behind these fires, other religious leaders believe this is revealing of time. “People who trust in God really need to see God is allowing things to happen to catch our attention,” said Pastor Easton Shelvin of Truth is Ministries. 

He’s a good friend to all of the pastors involved. He believes all the community can do now is pray for the alleged person responsible and increase their faith. 

“People who do those kinds of acts are lost and are searching for attention. People to reach out and love them and guide them,” said Easton. All of the pastors affected believe them is a higher power going on right now and this time for recovery will shed a light on it all.
 
“I’ ‘m excited for what God is going to do in the community,” said Richard. 

“I think God set us up to be a great light right now. Perfect timing,” Shelvin added. 

Their main focus now is rebuilding physically, mentally and spiritually. Church services are currently being held at Keystone Lodge on Lincoln Street in Opelousas. 
 

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