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St. Landry Parish Church Fires (2019)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2019-04-12

Duration: 00:07:07

Subjects: African American churches | FIRES | Arson


  • Moreau, Andre Host
  • Crews, Keith Editor
  • Browning, Butch Speaker
  • Nichols, Dana Speaker
  • Guidroz, Bobby Speaker
  • Toussaint, Gerald Interviewee
  • Edwards, John Bel Speaker


This segment from the April 12, 2019, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Andre Moreau’s report on the fires at three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish – St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre on March 26th, Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 2nd, and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church near Opelousas on April 4th. Moreau first reports on the arrest of Holden Matthews on three counts of simple arson of a religious building. Next, he presents highlights of a press conference in Opelousas announcing the arrest of Matthews, including comments by State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, Dana Nichols of the ATF, and St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz. Then, Moreau presents highlights of Governor John Bel Edwards discussing the church fires during his opening address to the Louisiana Legislature. Lastly, Moreau interviews Pastor Gerald Toussaint of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.