Retired Saints player Ben Watson offers help after St. Landry churches burned
ST. LANDRY PARISH - Reports say a former Saints player is helping rebuild the churches that were recently burned in St. Landry Parish.
Three churches with predominately African American congregations were burned in a 10 day span. The first fire occurred March 26 at the St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, and the second happened April 2 when the Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas caught fire. On April 4, the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas also burned down.
Law enforcement arrested 21-year-old Holden Matthews on three counts of simple arson last week.
The New Orleans Advocate reports that former tight end Ben Watson reached out to the pastors of the three churches to offer help.
"In speaking with these pastors, I am in awe and inspired by their faith and courage, comforting their congregations and family members," Watson to the news outlet. "Through sadness and shock, they spoke of forgiveness for the arsonist and grace for tomorrow. Most importantly they spoke of being overwhelmed by support from people of goodwill and all religions from around the country. And they were humbled by what God has already done through this series of events."
Donations can be sent to the following address:
Seventh District Baptist Association
P.O. Box 281
Ville Platte, La 70586
The Seventh District Baptist Association has also set up a GoFundMe.