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Burnet County deputies investigate cross burning at black church

A cross was found burned at the entrance to the Smoking for Jesus Ministry church in Burnet County on March 1. Courtesy photo

FROM STAFF REPORTS

HOOVER’S VALLEY — Burnet County Sheriff’s Office investigators are asking for the public’s help in determining who is responsible for allegedly burning a cross at the entrance of the Smoking for Jesus Ministry church in the 1800 block of FM 2342.

According to a BSCO statement, deputies responded to the church just after 9 p.m. March 1 after somebody reported a fire. Deputies found a charred wooden cross propped up against the church’s sign near the road.

Investigators collected evidence at the scene and are submitting it for analysis.

Smoking for Jesus Ministry is a predominately African-American congregation. The church began in  New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Rev. Willie Monnet Sr. guided the congregation from the distraction and eventually led members to the Highland Lakes. At first, the church set up worship in the Marble Falls area, but eventually, Smoking for Jesus Ministry leaders purchased property on FM 2342 north of Kingsland, where it relocated.

Anybody with information on the incident is asked to the call the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office at (512) 756-8080 or the Hill Country Area Crime Stoppers at (512) 756-TIPS (8477).

editor@thepicayune.com

4 thoughts on “Burnet County deputies investigate cross burning at black church

  1. I certainly hope this is the result of dumb teens and not of ignorant, racist adults. I fear it is the latter, but feel certain the Sheriff’s Office will find the culprits. So sad.

  2. The way this article was written, and the use of th word allegedly, makes it seem that the writer doesn’t believe this happened. I think it subtly undermines the seriousness of a crime like this. A crime not just socially reprehensible and disgusting, but potentially a hate crime and a federal offense. Does anyone else feel like that was intentional?

  3. Disgusting, this church, and everyone I’ve met that is involved with this church, are upstanding members of our community. Shame on whoever did this!

  4. Improper use of the word “alleged.” For future reference, this is a term used against a person that has been arrested, but not tried and convicted of a crime. It is not to be used for obvious facts. There is a cross and it was set on fire as evidenced by the charred nature of the cross in the picture. That is an actual cross burning. The motive for the cross burning, however, is still open to speculation.

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