Vandals marked a Harnett County church with swastikas, hateful messages and symbols between Tuesday and Wednesday night.
They struck the Johnsonville Church of God, 627 Brooks Mangum Road, sometime between 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Wednesday, leaving behind an assortment of hate symbols, anti-gay messages and a reference to Black Lives Matter, according to the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office.
In a Facebook post, church Pastor James Derek Howard told the congregation of the damage and said members of the church were praying for those responsible.
“We are praying for whoever did this to our little church, and we forgive you,” he wrote. “When you’re doing something right, the Devil will always step in to try and discourage or stop you. But not us, this is motivation to keep going, keep pressing, keep seeking, keep ministering, keep loving our community, we love you Johnsonville.”
The exterior of the church was dotted with swastikas, crossed out swastikas and several derogatory statements which included “Get cancer” and “Heil Satan.”
Harnett County Sheriff’s Maj. Aaron Meredith said the case is under investigation and there are currently no suspects.
The church received donations of paint and caulking as well as volunteer manpower to cover the damage and restore the church, according to a Facebook post by Howard.
The donations included 20 gallons of paint and two cases of paintable caulk.
“I want to thank everyone for the love and support shown to us and to our church family over the vandalism,” Howard wrote. “I’m truly humbled by the response we received from our community and friends.”
The interior of the church was not damaged and the doors were locked at the time of the discovery of the vandalism, Meredith said.
-Dunn Daily Record