Arson, "Vote Trump" vandalism at Greenville church
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Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, MS
Mark Rigsby - MPB News

Authorities in Greenville are searching for the person responsible for the fire that burned an African-American church, and spray painted the phrase "Vote Trump" on the outside. 

"I see that as an attack. I see it as a strategy, an evil one, to deprive or intimidate, or put fear in, or invoke fear in folks civil liberties and rights they enjoy in this country. That we all enjoy in this country."

That's Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons. He says the burning of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church is an attempt to intimidate voters just days before the Presidential Election. He says it's being investigated as a hate crime. Reverend Carolyn Hudson is pastor of the one-hundred-eleven year old church.

"The act that has happened has left our hearts broken, but we are strong together. And we do believe God would allow us to build another sanctuary in that same place."

When firefighters arrived to the scene on North Delessepse Street, they found the church in flames, and Vote Trump slogan in silver spray paint on the outside wall of the church. Mayor Simmons. 

"This matter is being investigated with all deliberate speed. We will not rest until the culprit is found and fully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Simmons is asking for anyone with information on this crime to contact the authorities.