CMPD searches for vandals after church defaced

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trying to track down whoever defaced an University City church.

Vandals spray painted a wall and the entrance-way with bizarre messages.

Early Sunday morning, the messages greeted members of the church: "open your mind before you open your doors," "a million dollars for the church, penny for the poor," and "have a nice day."

Roneshia Eaves walks through the church parking lot each day to work, and was outraged by the damage.

"This is the place of the Lord. You should never ever do something like that," she said.

Pastor Ron Smith did not want to show his face, but said whoever damaged the church knows nothing about the good it does for the community.

"We're very much involved in the schools in our area with a variety of ministries. We provide food, backpacks," he said.

In the seven years he's been at the church, the pastor said it's never been vandalized before.

He would like the vandals to pay to remove the graffiti, and also wants to speak with them.

"Come to our church and meet our people, and see who we are and what we do because they clearly don't understand us," he said.

He said he plans to look at surveillance video soon for clues. Anyone with information is urged to call police.