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St. John Baptist Church receives letter of thanks from VP Pence

Posted at 10:57 AM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 20:06:25-04

OPELOUSAS — Vice President Mike Pence, is expressing his gratitude to a St. Landry Parish church. Pence was in St. Landry Parish in May, meeting with those affected by the church arsons.

However, it's the actions of another church that caught the Vice President's eye.

In a letter sent to St. John Missonary Baptist Church in Opelousas, thanked them for their assistance and hospitality during his visit. During the vice president's visit, St. John Baptist church assisted in transporting congregants and the affected pastors from St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church to meet with Pence.

"Thinking of little Opleousas and St. John Missionary Baptist Church. We have a great leader. I think it show's great character on the Vice President's part," Tyrone Glover said.

It's a letter that came as a surprise for the congregation. Tyrone Glover, who is the president of the brotherhood of St. John Missionary Baptist church, says he was aware of the letter a few days before telling the church.

"I did tell the pastor, two days before the letter came in and I showed him a copy of it and he was impressed and humbled by it," Glover said. " We read it in church this Sunday and the congregation was filled with joy and thanking God."

The church assisted with the visit, by lending a van that was used to carry church leaders to meetings with Pence.

Glover, who is also a field representative for U.S. Rep Clay Higgins, helped organize the meeting. The Vice President transmitted the letter through congressman Clay Higgins to St. John Baptist church.

Months, later the Vice President acknowledging that the country is standing with the members of the churches as they rebuild and recover.

"It wasn't just an Opelousas problem or a Port Barre problem," Glover said. "It was a United States problem. A world issue. It was a sad moment for our area, but we're people that love."

Pence sent the following letter dated August 19, 2019 to Pastor Ronald Freeman Sr.

"I was deeply moved to visit Opelousas in the wake of the burning of three churches in your community this spring, and I want to thank you for providing the use of your church van to assist with transportation.

St. John Baptist Church, along with so many other churches in the St. Landry Parish, was a tremendous help in a time of great hurt and great need in Opelousas, and I was inspired to see people of faith rise up in love and overcome evil with good. Please know of my heartfelt gratitude to you and your congregation for all of your assistance during my visit.

Be assured that the American people are standing with your community in love and support as you recover and rebuild on a foundation of faith. God bless you."

-Michael R. Pence
Vice President of the United States

Holden Matthews, the man accused of setting fire to the churches was arrested in April and is facing arson and hate crime charges.