Pastors come together after vandals hit 10 area churches
Pastors are coming together to rebound after vandals hit 10 churches in three counties.
They met Tuesday night with members of one of the churches hit, Cedar Hill A.M.E Zion. They didn't discuss the crimes directly, how the churches in Stanly, Anson and Rowan Counties were damaged, how vandals broke windows, defecated on an altar, burned a cross on a yard, and spray-painted Nazi signs, the N-word, the F-word and explicit pictures on the houses of worship.
Cedar Hill AME Zion Church vandalized
Faith Baptist Church in Oakboro vandalized
Cottonville AME Zion Church vandalized
Ansonville United Methodist Church wasn't vandalized. But the Rev. Robert Burr said, "We've all been assaulted, not just one church."
Instead, they simply called this the devil's work and moved forward. They covered the basics, such as paint brushes, paper towels and gloves. They also offered one of their churches for this Sunday because Cedar Hill may not be ready for services, and they did it with humor.
All Souls Episcopal Church's Mike Bye said, "It isn't real big. And the organ's funky. But short of that, it's yours."
Area churches vandalized with words of hate
They offered to help replace the stained glass, the one item not insured and precious to the Cedar Hill congregation. They planned a community service outside the church at 6 p.m. Sunday and a "healing service" at some point in the future.
Cedar Hill's Ruth Davis said, "What the community as a whole needs to know [is] we're actually more alike than we are different. We're all on the same side."
Meanwhile, the investigation into the vandals continues, as deputies tied them to more acts of graffiti at a Rowan County church and businesses in Stanly County, bringing the crime spree total to 14 victims.
SBI investigators are processing evidence from the Cedar Hill scene and deputies have been canvassing stores that sell spray paint.
Crime Stoppers is also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anonymous calls can be made to 704-982-0711.