Hopewell Baptist Church holds first service since vandalism

GREENVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville held their first Sunday service since their church was burned and vandalized.

Several churches in the area have offered them a place to worship since then.

What was meant to rip this congregation apart did just the opposite.

“There is a scripture in the Bible that says what the enemy meant for our harm, God has turned it around,” said Pastor Carilyn Hudson with Hopewell Baptist Church.

On Sunday morning, Pastor Hudson and church leaders held service at First Baptist Church bringing members a timely message.

“The message was praising God in times like these, and it came from Psalms 34, number of Psalms first and second verse,” said Pastor Hudson.

It was just a few days ago when Pastor Hudson found out her church had been completely defaced.

Flames had scorched the inside of the building and written in bold letters on the side read “Vote Trump.”

“You go through this little period of sadness; you go through this little period. You know our hearts are still broken, but, we rejoice, and we rejoice in the Lord,” said Pastor Hudson.

Pastor Jame Nichols of First Baptist says he wants Hopewell members to know they are loved and welcomed into the First Baptist home.

“I actually changed my message for this morning. I was going to teach a different topic, and I decided to preach about love because with everything that has happened in our community this week, a lot of folks on both sides of the racial line and on all signs of the denomination line are reflecting on what it means to love each other,” said Pastor Jame Nichols with First Baptist Church in Greenville.

Pastor Hudson says just as God continues to love and forgive her; she will love and forgive the person responsible for this tragedy.

“We’re not angry. We are children of the most high God. We are forgiving people, and what I say even to God and when I pray, God be merciful be merciful because I know he is a merciful God,” said Pastor Hudson.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

A Go Fund Me account was created just four days ago to repair Hopewell Baptist Church, and it has already raised more than $238,000.

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