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Authorities search for church vandals

Posted February 6, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Cumberland County authorities were searching Friday for the person or people who vandalized a church south of Fayetteville.

Someone broke into New Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at about 1 a.m. Thursday and overturned the altar, smashed a piano keyboard, shattered a glass window, broke a computer monitor and tried to turn over a pew.

They set off an alarm, authorities said.

Fayetteville church vandalism Cumberland County church vandalized

"They just came in and tore up the place," Rev. Larry Anderson said, noting that nothing was taken from the church. "It really takes a strange person to do something like that."

Cumberland County authorities said they had some leads in the case, but didn't have any suspects as of Friday afternoon.

Blood stained the front door of the church, where the vandals broke out some glass to get inside.

Anderson said he was incensed when he first saw Bibles strewn about and the altar flipped over.

"These are the objects of worship, so whoever did this has a problem with religion in general," he said, adding that he already has forgiven the vandals.

"We forgive you. We forgive you in the name of Jesus, and we would like for you to come and get some help for those anger issues," he said.

Anderson said he doubts the vandalism was racially motivated because his church, at 3862 Gateway Drive, off U.S. Highway 301, has an interracial congregation.

"I think it was probably someone who has a problem with religion in general and saw an opportunity to come in and desecrate a house of worship," he said. "In America, we just don't stand for that."

The church made plans to clean up the damage Friday night and begin making repairs, he said. A prayer vigil will be held there at 6 p.m. Sunday.

"I guess the enemy is just mad at us and angry at us, but we're going to continue to focus on our mission here as a church," he said.

10 Comments

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  • haggis basher Feb 6, 2009

    "These vandals are no different than the anti-christian bloggers who make negative comments. Their hearts are in the same place."
    Wow! thats a big step. Thats like saying that because you are a Christian, you are no different than the child molesting Priests or those that cheerfully burnt heretics at the stake.
    First get the plank out your own eye........Folks like you give Christians a bad name.

  • vote4changeASAP Feb 6, 2009

    These vandals are no different than the anti-christian bloggers who make negative comments. Their hearts are in the same place.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 6, 2009

    Dr. Dataclerk, where do you think these vandals learned this stuff? Remember Jesus overturning tables?...and cussing a fig tree for not bearing fruit...off season? Maybe Jesus should have gone to the Synogogue for some anger lessons too.

  • haggis basher Feb 6, 2009

    "so don't clean it up until the investigators collect a sample."
    They don't have enough money/time to test rape kits quickly.. a little church desecration should be a little further back in the queue....

  • haggis basher Feb 6, 2009

    "and probably the Geneva convention as well!"
    I should have started a new sentence. It would however clearly fail the ban on torture. Ask any kid on a beautifulsunday Morning!

  • gunfighter Feb 6, 2009

    Blood stains on the door provides DNA evidence, so don't clean it up until the investigators collect a sample.

  • dh1964 Feb 6, 2009

    "Nice idea but the latter would be clearly unconstitional :) on several ground including the 'Separation of Church and State', 'cruel and unusual punishment' and probably the Geneva convention as well!"

    I must have been napping when they incorporated the Geneva Convention into the Constitution! What else have they snuck in there when I wasn't paying attention? :)

  • haggis basher Feb 6, 2009

    "made to attend all worship services including Sunday School."
    Nice idea but the latter would be clearly unconstitional :) on several ground including the "Separation of Church and State", "cruel and unusual punishment" and probably the Geneva convention as well!

  • haggis basher Feb 6, 2009

    ""I think it was probably someone who has a problem with religion in general and saw an opportunity to come in and desecrate a house of worship,"
    Or more likely its the same kind of morons that would, and do, smash up schools, community halls, homes etc. Methinks the Pastor is playing the persecuted Christian card.....which is getting just a little tired.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 6, 2009

    When found they need to be made to pay the church back for all damages and then made to attend all worship services including Sunday School.