Fayetteville, N.C. — Vandals knocked out stained-glass windows in three Cumberland County churches over the weekend, authorities said Monday.
Members of the congregations at the three churches in the rural southeastern part of the county discovered the damage Sunday morning, authorities said.
Ten windows in the sanctuary of Peters Creek Baptist Church, at 13176 Peters Creek Church Road, and one window in the nursery were smashed, causing about $1,150 in damage.
"(There are) just things you can't understand about life. What kind of thrill would somebody get out of doing something like this?" said Earl Faircloth, who has been a member of the church for almost 80 years.
"It's like doing it to your own home. It's family. We're family here, all of us," Faircloth said.
Two stained-glass windows and six plate-glass windows were destroyed at Beaver Dam Baptist Church, at 4706 Beaver Dam Church Road, costing an estimated $1,175.
One stained-glass window was knocked out at Evergreen Baptist Church, at 9626 N.C. Highway 210 South, causing about $500 in damage.
Rev. Odell Peterson, the pastor at Evergreen Baptist, said the vandals left a message in his church.
"(We) had a note that said, 'We're not sheep. We're people' and had a note that said, 'This is just the beginning,'" Peterson said.
Investigators have reviewed security video from one of the churches, which shows the vandalism happened at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, but they haven't identified any suspects.
Members of the churches said they would like the vandals to join their congregations so they could help them.
"Anybody who could do anything like that needs our prayers. They're sick. They need help," Peterson said.
Anyone with information about the vandalism cases is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.