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St. Landry pastor moving forward two years after church arson, plans to reopen church this fall

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Posted at 9:39 PM, Jun 01, 2021

A new beginning is so close for a St. Landry Parish church, more than two years after a devastating fire.

In 2018, an arsonist destroyed three predominantly Black churches in St. Landry Parish. Among them, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, where we check in on the rebuilding process.

The Reverend at Mount Pleasant says the church is in the final stages of rebuilding. He says his mission now is to get it completed for the next generation.

"You got to look forward and I'm not looking back. I'm not even looking back towards the fire because I look at the building and there's no fire in the building,” said Reverend Gerald Toussaint.

Rev. Toussaint says the past two years have been a journey of ups and downs, from a devastating fire to an investigation and guilty plea. Rev. Toussaint has even found forgiveness for the man who caused so much pain.

"When I saw the pain in his mother's eyes, I couldn't help but forgive him. Even if it's just for her because she's got a lot of pain in her,” said Toussaint.

For now, church services remain virtual. Toussaint's focus is returning to worship in person.

"They might have to shackle me. When we get in it, God will get all the glory and all the praise."

Rev. Toussaint plans to open the church in September.

Read more about the fires here and here.

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