Arrest made in fire at church with ‘Vote Trump’ graffiti

Andrew McClinton
Andrew McClinton

Greenville police arrested a Leland man who they believe set fire to Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church on Nov. 1.

The burning of the historically black church made national headlines the week before the 2016 presidential election. Someone sprayed graffiti on the church that said “Vote Trump.”

Andrew McClinton, 45, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, communication director for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

McClinton is held at the Washington County jail pending an initial appearance in Greenville Municipal Court, Strain said.

It is not clear if officials believe McClinton was also the person who wrote the graffiti.

McClatchy reported that Greenville Fire Chief Ruben Brown told the Delta Daily News that the fire broke out around 9:15 p.m. on Nov. 1 and caused significant damage to the main sanctuary. No injuries were reported in the fire.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @Journalism_J