“Our investigation is taking a look at the whole lot,” Chief Hampton mentioned. “Nothing is off the desk.”
Rising up within the culturally conservative exurbs of Cherokee County, north of Atlanta, Mr. Lengthy “introduced his Bible to high school each day,” mentioned Darin Peppers, 51, the town director for First Precedence of Metro Atlanta, a highschool evangelical group. He performed a field drum throughout morning reward conferences of his Christian youth group at Sequoyah Excessive College, Mr. Peppers mentioned.
In keeping with one college yearbook, Mr. Lengthy led a weekly gathering of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “I actually really feel like God is wanting me to be a pacesetter within the church so I felt like this could be a extremely good alternative to train a few of these ideas,” the yearbook quoted him saying, “and in addition simply attain out to our campus with the gospel.”
- Eight folks, together with six ladies of Asian descent, had been killed within the Atlanta therapeutic massage parlor shootings. The suspect’s motives are underneath investigation, however Asian communities throughout the US are on alert due to a surge in assaults towards Asian-Individuals over the previous yr.
- A torrent of hate and violence towards Asian-Individuals across the U.S. started final spring, within the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Group leaders say the bigotry was spurred by the rhetoric of former President Trump, who referred to the coronavirus because the “China virus.”
- In New York, a wave of xenophobia and violence has been compounded by the financial fallout of the pandemic, which has dealt a extreme blow to New York’s Asian-American communities. Many group leaders say racist assaults are being missed by the authorities.
- In January, an 84-year-old man from Thailand was violently slammed to the bottom in San Francisco, leading to his demise at a hospital two days later. The assault, captured on video, has change into a rallying cry.
In recent times, Mr. Lengthy and his household had been energetic members at Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga. He was baptized there as an grownup in 2018, in accordance with a now-deleted Fb put up by the church.
The church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Conference and put itself on an inventory of church buildings which can be “pleasant” to the mission of Founders Ministries, a gaggle throughout the denomination that has criticized what it characterizes as a leftward drift inside evangelicalism.
Crabapple’s bylaws embrace a prolonged passage on marriage and sexuality that condemns “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, polygamy, pedophilia, pornography, or any try to alter one’s intercourse.”
The church’s lead pastor, Jerry Dockery, preached a sermon about gender roles in September, drawing on a passage in 1 Timothy that instructs ladies to decorate modestly and to “study in quietness and full submission.”