St. Landry pastor moving forward one year after church arson

St. Landry pastor moving forward one year after church arson
Posted at 10:42 PM, May 29, 2020

It's already been more than a year since an arsonist set three predominantly black churches in St. Landry Parish on fire.

Holden Matthews faces up to 70 years in prison after pleading guilty to four federal counts in connection with those fires. His sentencing date is set for July.

Now almost 14 months after the first fire, one of the churches is looking forward to the future.

"I want the opening of this church to be spectacular. Just a praise to God, a thank you to him," said Reverend Gerald Toussaint.

Mount Pleasant Baptist Reverend Gerald Toussaint is moving on. For now, the church is holding virtual services, but they're starting the rebuilding process.

"We've started the process of building the church. I get happy with progress. It makes the church feel better, it makes the people feel better because even in the mist of all this, we're still going forward," said Toussaint.

Toussaint says the past year has been a journey of ups and downs. He no longer dwells on the past and carries no ill feeling towards the arsonist.

"I've already forgiven him. We gotta get past that, that's the only way we can go on," said Toussaint.

Toussaint says they're taking their time to rebuild and his testimony is what gives him the strength to continue.

"Those experiences have helped me to let me know the importance of why God put me here on this earth. So as long as I live that's what I'm gonna do," said Toussaint.
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