Burnet County Sheriff's Office looking for info concerning incident at church

Burnet County deputies are investigating a possible hate crime. Members of a church found a burning cross next to a sign on the property.

The sign in front of the Smoking for Jesus Ministry church in Burnet County is scorched. The embers on the grass below are from a wooden cross that someone set on fire and propped against it.

Church member Calvin Richard took a photo of the burned cross before deputies collected the evidence.

Pastor Willie Monnet told FOX 7 by phone that he feels it was a hate crime, "It's still one of the old tactics that they used to use and I guess they're still doing it."

The pastor says he hasn't had any trouble since he re-located here 10 years ago from New Orleans. 200 members of his congregation came with him to escape from Hurricane Katrina.

"We've been through a lot more than that already. And when we came from New Orleans it was real rough so," said Monnet.

Monnet's congregation has since grown to nearly 300. Six of those members are now running their own businesses and giving back to a community that the pastor says has been really welcoming.

The pastor says his members are praying for whoever is responsible.

"They're feeling he needs his heart right with God. Alright. 'Cause evidently, he doesn't understand that we're all created equal. Evidently, they don't understand that yet. That's he needs his heart right that's all. We pray for his deliverance, for his salvation," said Monnet.

Burnet County deputies ask that you the Hill County Area Crime Stoppers at 512-756-TIPS if you have any information that may help them solve this crime.