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Former Saints player helping three congregations whose churches were burned

Posted at 1:34 PM, Apr 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-13 20:19:31-04

The three congregations in St. Landry Parish whose churches were burned are getting help from retired Saints player Ben Watson.

According to The Advocate, the former tight end reached out to the pastor of each church and President of the Seventh District Missionary Baptist Association Freddie Jack to let them know he’s on board for the rebuilding process.

“In speaking with these pastors I am in awe and inspired by their faith and courage, comforting their congregations and family members,” Watson tells The Advocate. “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.”

The first fire was reported on March 26 at the St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre. On April 2, the second fire was reported at the Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas. The third fire was reported April 4 at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas. Twenty-one-year-old Holden Matthews was arrested Thursday in connection with all three.

The retired New Orleans football player isn’t alone in wanting to help the three congregations. Many groups, businesses, fellow churches and individuals have already done their part.

If you would like to make a donation, there are a couple of ways. Donations can be mailed to:

Seventh District Baptist Association
Seventh District
Attn. Freddie Jack
P.O. Box 281
Ville Platte, LA 70586

A GoFundMe has also been set up.

For more on The Advocate’s story, click here.