Matthews pastor looks for answers after church vandalized for 4th time in months

MATTHEWS, N.C. — A local church leader said he is fed up with the escalating vandalism at a house of worship in Matthews, one he said they have been dealing with for months.

The vandalism happened at the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church near East Charles Street.

Pastor Larry Whitley said the first time was concerning, but it isn't the first time this has happened at the church in Matthews.

Whitley said it is the fourth time in months.

"I just want to make sure that we're not a target and whoever is doing this, we can find and put a stop to it," Whitley said.

Whitley said he believes the graffiti is gang related. Channel 9 asked investigators about a possible gang connection, who responded by saying they have not ruled it out.

"It's sad that we're living in a time now, especially a church or religious institution, that we have to now start dealing with safety and security, but's the time that we're living in now," Whitley said.

Whitley said the graffiti is frustrating enough, but investigators confirmed someone also stole a trailer from the church.

He said the combination raises serious questions about their safety.

"It does simply because we have a daycare here, one of the those markings was on the daycare door," Whitley said. "If you're doing something, I'm asking you to please stop and recognize where you are and what you are, what you're doing, and where you're headed in life."

Whitley told Channel 9's DaShawn Brown they have added extra surveillance cameras outside.

Matthews police said they have also added more patrols to Mount Moriah and the surrounding areas.

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