Black Churches on Fire

Black Churches on Fire

July 1, 2015 Off By Michael
Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, S. C. is the latest black church to go up in flames since the massacre of the Charleston 9. Photo Credits: Cheryl Oliver

Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church near Greeleyville, S. C. is the latest black church to go up in flames since the massacre of the Charleston 9. Photo Credits: Cheryl Oliver

Black churches are on fire throughout the south since the white terrorist Daylann Roof fired upon an unarmed group of black church worshippers two weeks ago in Charleston, South Carolina.  Roof said in no uncertain terms that he slaughtered nine black people because he was tired of sitting around listening to his white compatriots talking about a race war and not doing anything to get it started.

The carnage Roof left in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is reminiscent of the   sneaky attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina in December 1860, which ignited the Civil War that southern states had been clamoring for, but none dared to fire the first shot.

On first blush one would think that Roof’s efforts to jump-start a race war had failed. Family members of the worshippers who lost their lives in this senseless terrorist attack did not rush to pick up their guns and attack white people. Instead they did what their faith taught them to do. They forgave Roof in spite of the fact, he did not ask for forgiveness or show any signs of remorse for his actions.

I have to admit when I first learned of Roof’s reason for attacking Emmanuel A. M. E. Church, I was thrown off guard thinking that the only way for his plan to work would be for radical elements of the black community to bear arms and attack targets in the white community.

However, when you look at the response of the white supremacist community you find support for Roof’s actions and a sense that Roof has galvanized white supremacists to conduct other acts of terror in the black community.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Aryan Nations leader Morris Gulett “offered praise and urged others to follow Roof’s example.”

“I, for one, am very glad to see young people like Dylann Roof acting like men instead of the old 60’s era hippies stoned on weed and interracial love,” Gulett posted on his website, according to SPLC.

“We had better see much more of this type of activism if we ever expect to see our America return to it’s [sic] rightful place in the world and our children grow up in a clean safe healthy enviroment [sic],” Gulett wrote.

This can only explain the sudden wave of fires which have destroyed 7 black churches throughout the south since Roof went on his rampage at Mother Emmanuel. Investigators have determined that three of the fires were the work of arsonists. The other four are under investigation.

The seven churches are: Apostolic Holiness Church, Tallahassee, Florida, Glover Grove Baptist Church, Warrenville, South Carolina, College Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee, God’s Power Church of Christ, Macon, Georgia, Briar Creek Baptist Church, Charlotte, North Carolina, Fruitland Presbyterian Church, Gibson, Tennessee and Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina.

It appears the plan of  white supremacists is not to engage a black militia in armed warfare, but to wage a campaign of terror by striking vulnerable targets in the black community, when members of the community least expect them.

I believe black church leaders should immediately do two things:

First, hire armed guards to protect their property around the clock.  Then search every stranger who attends a worship service or meeting held in the church. As insensitive as it sounds, all unrecognized white people  should be searched for weapons.

There is literally a media blackout on these church fires. Certainly nothing that comes close to the 24- hour news coverage of fires in Ferguson and Baltimore which were believed to have been set by black rioters. Therefore, each person reading this report should consider themselves a committee of one to get the  word out by sharing this report with as many people as possible, so that members of the community will not be surprised by a sneak attacked from another cowardly, wretched cur.


Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at He can be contacted at