Here is the Latest Report on the Church Fire in South Carolina

July 1st 2015

Mike Vainisi

Multiple reports indicate that the church fire that heavily damaged Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina was caused by lightning. That's according to sources close to the ongoing investigation, which is being conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as state officials.

Mt. Zion, a predominantly Black church, is the seventh Black church to burn in the weeks since an attack on a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina left 9 dead. On Tuesday night, when news of the fire first broke, the #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches hashtag spread on social media as many questioned whether Mt. Zion was the target of arson.

What's particularly poignant is that the Mt. Zion congregation lost its church to fire two decades ago. Their church building was reportedly burned down by members of the Ku Klux Klan in 1995. That fire was among 70 suspicious fires at Black churches throughout the South between 1995 and 1996. President Clinton attended the dedication of the rebuilt Mt. Zion church in 1996.