After the Monday announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the Brown family has suffered another blow: Their church was set on fire that night, NBC News reports.
According to the report, federal investigators are looking into the arson fire in the Missouri church where Michael Brown Sr. had been baptized on Sunday. A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives called it a "slow and painstaking process."
NBC reports that the Flood Christian Church was torched at approximately the same time other buildings were set on fire by angry protesters. However, it was one of the few buildings in the distant West Florissant Avenue area to be tampered with.
The Rev. Carlton Lee, pastor of the church, believes that it was the work of white supremacists wanting to send out a message to him for his support of the Brown family. "The police called me and told me the church was on fire," Lee told NBC News. "I was in complete disbelief … I didn't think anyone would set a church on fire.
"I feel like one of my children has died. I put my blood, my sweat, my tears into this church, getting this church built from the ground up. Transforming it from a place where you used to drive cars through to a sanctuary, a safe haven for people, and to see that it was taken down in a few minutes … is really heartbreaking," he added. "Sunday, we do the baptism; Monday, the church is on fire. It just doesn't add up.
"I'm very vocal in regards to the Michael Brown case," he continued. "I've spoken out against this since day one; the Brown family, they're members of the church. So I think it's several different things that go into play. If you look on Facebook, people have told me on Facebook what they were going to do … and how they were going to do it. Unfortunately it seems as if they acted on it and took my baby from me."
Lee has said that Brown Sr. is undeterred by the fire and has vowed to help repair the church.
"We rebuild," Lee said. "We do not stop."
Read more at NBC News.