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Arkansas church vandalized twice, racial slurs written at door - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Arkansas church vandalized twice, racial slurs written at doorsteps

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Twice in July a small, rural church in Bradley, Arkansas has been targeted by overnight vandalism. Intruders have left racial slurs, kicked in walls and even knocked over headstones in a nearby cemetery. The St. Mary's Baptist Church's pastor says he won't let the vandals scare him, but it's not the same for his congregation.

"It's just something stupid," one anonymous church member said. "I'm scared to come out here. I want to know who did it and why they did it."

It was nearly two weeks ago when St. Mary's first discovered their minor vandalized sanctuary. About a week later, vandals struck again. This time it was worse.

"They did it again that Sunday night, and then that following Monday, they trashed the church," Pastor Robert Hill said. "They turned the piano over. They turned the pews over. They slung the air conditioners out of the windows."

Hill says derogatory words followed by racial slurs were written at the front door and on a desk, windows were shattered, walls kicked in and scorch marks on the carpet suggest the intruders tried to set the place on fire. A nearby cemetery was targeted, as well.

"They have turned over the tombstones at the cemetery," Hill said. "They must have done it all on the same night. We don't know exactly who it is."

Hill and church members have cleaned up the worst of the damage and completed some minor repairs. He says Bradley Police and the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office have gathered strong evidence against the vandals.

"They did the investigation," Hill said. "Somebody did get cut in here last time. They did find blood. They did take finger prints. They are on their jobs."

Hill doesn't know who the vandals are or their true motives but says he isn't afraid of them.

"I know no weapons formed against us shall prosper, but I say these words, whoever is doing this, if you burn it down, we're building a brand new one," Hill said.

St. Mary's Church Services haven't been affected by the vandalism.

 

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