Cross burning shocks church

CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) – Someone burned a cross in the front yard of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee but the congregation isn’t dwelling on what happened.

“I couldn’t believe it, because all the years we’ve been here, we’ve never had this to happen. It was just devastating for me,” said Pastor Vernon Hooks.

When Hooks takes the pulpit on Sunday, he’ll deliver a message of forgiveness.

“There’s one person who’s kept me here that long, and that’s the Lord,” he said.

Since the 1870s, he says his New Hope Missionary Baptist Church has belonged to a close-knit, friendly community.

On Tuesday morning, they say they found a burning cross standing up on the gate in front of the church. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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