FBI investigates cross burning at black church

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As a motorist passed by St. John’s Baptist Church in a Sapulpa, OK, a small town outside of Tulsa, he didn’t expect to see a flaming cross planted right on the front lawn.The incident happened last week.

The Creek County Sherriff’s office took pictures and collected evidence from the scene but no arrests have been made. However, there are three persons of interests including an 18-year-old and two teenagers, all white males.

“They were bored and it was something to do. That’s what the adult said,” said Lt. Charles Redfern in an interview with Reuters. “They did say they wish they hadn’t done it.”


The cross, made up of wooden parts from a waterbed was propped on a chain link fence before it was set on fire. This isn’t the first time the church has been targeted. It’s been both burglarized and vandalized, suffering broken windows and damage from thrown rocks.

The churchgoers have not let the incident get them down. “I love even the one who did this,” said church member Cornelia Booker to NBC’s KFOR NewsChannel 4. “I love them, but I don’t love what they did.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is joining local, state and federal authorities including the FBI to investigate the attacks.