ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. — It is a time of tragedy for three churches near Opelousas, but their faith is keeping them going.
Members of St. Mary's Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church gathered Sunday to do what they do every Sunday: Worship.
This time, though, it was different. The gathering happened just days after Holden Matthews was arrested.
"We have to forgive. We cannot hold grudges. The Bible teaches us to forgive, let that go and let us come together," said Pastor Calvin Moore of Little Zion Baptist Church, which hosted the unity service.
Matthews, 21, is now in jail on accusations that he is responsible for a string arsons at the three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish.
Few people claim to know much about him, but some told the Opelousas Daily World that he used racial slurs and quote "didn't seem right."
Evidence, including a gas can, linked him to the crime.
Now, a second Facebook page that Matthews set up under the name Noctis Matthews has shed more light on his views.
In one recent post, he commented in part, "can't stand all these Baptists around here, bunch of brainwashed people trying to find happiness in a religion that was forced on their ancestors just as it was on mine."
Matthews also wrote and sang several so-called black metal songs posted to YouTube. That genre of music has been linked to church burnings in Norway in the 1990s.
CNN confirmed that one song Matthews sang and wrote was put up on March 28 -- two days after the first church was set on fire.
"The holy church is now destroyed,” the song ended with. “Burning down in Odin's name."