The crowdfunding campaign received more than $850,000 Tuesday, after it was shared on social media by Hillary Clinton, journalist Yashar Ali and CNN's Jake Tapper, among others. As of Wednesday morning, the fund had $1,118,800 of its $1.8 million goal. Many users noted that while hundreds of millions of euros had been pledged to rebuild the renowned cathedral, the small churches in Louisiana were still struggling, the New York Times reported.
The host of the campaign is the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149-year-old nonprofit religious organization. The group said on its GoFundMe page it is working with the governor of Louisiana, local leaders, elected officials, the affected churches and their pastors, other faith organizations and the community "to ensure 100% of all funds raised will be evenly distributed to the three churches affected."
» Officials say evidence points to church fire suspect
"We have history right here in our own backyards. Let's do more to protect the history of historical black churches that are targeted by hate," Kris Rixon wrote on the fundraising page.
Holden Matthews — the son of a local sheriff's deputy — was arrested after turning himself in. The 21-year-old entered a not guilty plea Monday via video conference from the St. Landry Parish jail, as prosecutors added new charges declaring the arsons a hate crime, the New York Times reported.