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Another Negro Church Burns in Georgia

Sept. 17, 1962 - A fourth Negro church burned to the ground today in Georgia, and a large-scale investigation by Federal and state agencies was initiated. State officers said the odor of kerosene was heavy at the burned church. The I Hope Baptist Church (pictured) on the outskirts of Dawson, the Terrell County seat, burned before dawn. Charles Sherrod, field representative of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, said the scene was similar to that at the three other churches burned in the area. He said a chimney was left standing, and a few sheets of tin. “People are scared,” he said. “People are crying. Some say they are going to leave Terrell County.” His organization “won’t be moved,” he said, and a voter registration meeting will be held Wednesday night in Sasser. Meetings are being held in a tent because other churches refuse to permit them in church buildings. Gov. S. Ernest Vandiver said at a press conference: “I am ordering all available forces to the area to determine who might have destroyed this house of worship. To destroy a house of worship is indicative of a diseased mind.”

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