Ravens majority owner Steve Bisciotti donated $100,000 to help rebuild the three historically black churches that burned in Louisiana recently, former Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson tweeted Wednesday.
In a 10-day period over the past month in St. Landry Parish, St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church were burned. Watson, who spent two seasons in Baltimore and retired after last year, his fourth with the New Orleans Saints, has helped promote fundraising efforts.
Watson wrote that Bisciotti called him on Sunday to offer his donation. "Thankful for his willingness to help others," Watson tweeted.
Happy to say that there was at least one early on. @ravens owner Steve Bisciotti called me Sunday. He committed 100k. Thankful for his willingness to help others. https://t.co/So1m5rJ4vJ
A GoFundMe page for the churches has raised nearly $2 million, as of Thursday afternoon.
“It is imperative that we show this community and the entire country that these types of acts do not represent who we are. And most importantly as the body of Christ, we suffer along side our brothers and sisters whenever tragedy, persecution or loss happens,” Watson wrote Saturday.
Holden Matthews, a white man and the son of a sheriff’s deputy, was arrested last week on three charges of arson of a religious building. The 21-year-old is now facing hate crime charges in the arson cases.
Matthews pleaded not guilty to all charges Monday during an appearance in court conducted by video conference. He was denied bond.