20 years ago, Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal in Greeleyville, SC church was torched by the KKK, and last night it went up in flames again.

According to fire officials, they don’t know if the fire was intentional or started by lightning in the area. But with all of the church burnings taking place recently, it is ominous.

No injuries were reported, but the fire took around two and a half hours to bring under control, the Clarendon County Fire Department said around midnight ET.

Its roof collapsed and Williamsburg County Fire Chief Randy Swinton said that the 8,000-square-foot church had been gutted.

Mount Zion, founded more than 110 years ago, was burned to the ground June 20, 1995, by two members of the Ku Klux Klan. President Bill Clinton attended the rededication of the rebuilt church a year later and said in a speech that “it was the church that saved the people until the civil rights revolution came along.”

He said it was “doubly troubling to people … who spent their entire lives working for equal opportunity among our people…to see our native South engulfed in a rash of church burnings.”

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  • BillipPhailey

    So when are the men who are members of these churches going to stand guard? There is a mosque on Mass Ave in DC in which a member walks around it at night.

    • vintage3000

      I don’t understand that either. My church in Brooklyn has security standing outside during service in broad daylight, and that has been arranged for years. I also wonder if these churches have surveillance cameras.

  • Blue Ivy’s beautiful bun

    Local news are reporting that preliminary investigations say that the fire was not arson. There were very heavy thunderstorms and lightning in parts of SC yesterday evening.

  • Other places of worship have experienced arson. Regardless if this church was destroyed by arson or by Nature, this is a tragic story. The suffering of black people historically have been ignored by society and that is a disgrace. These events going in the 21st century alone should open our eyes and see how we need to be more interdependent with each other as a people. The racists and the extremists follow irrational hatred, American exceptionalism, economic regressive policies, and injustice. We follow love, truth, and justice. We can never be blinded about the epidemic of not only racism, but police terrorism which exists worldwide. We will continue to courageously speak up about these issues and organize strategies so liberation can come.