Six churches were vandalized in south Dallas this week with red graffiti paint spray-painted across the steeples and exterior walls, as reported by Fox News.
“When I saw it, it bothered me,” Pastor Clarence Preston of Beth Eden Baptist Church said. “It really troubled me that someone would come to this level, and stoop to this level.”
The vandalism included red-spray painted “LIES” written on three sides of the steeple at Beth Eden, a slash through Jesus’ name at St. Luke Presbyterian Church, and “LIE” also written on a cross in front of St. Phillips Missionary Baptist Church, according to CBN.
The churches are working with the Dallas Police to find the culprit. One of the churches gave video footage of the alleged suspect to the police, who are asking the public for any information on the man.
Authorities are still unsure if the graffiti was done by the same person or a group. Though the messages resemble each other, police also have not said if the crimes are related.
“We had got a warning that something was going to happen yesterday to the churches,” Bishop Ray Campbell of the Ideal Family Church told WFAA.
Congregants found the messages on Sunday morning. They attempted to cover the destruction with black trash bags and the pastors addressed the crime to their churches during services. Members at St. Phillips attempted to scrub off the paint but were unsuccessful.
“Well, it’s not something that I appreciated. It was very unappreciated. It takes much effort and made a great undertaking to do that,” Preston said. “We do not know the motivation and the rationale as to why they would perpetrate such activity as this.”
Though the graffiti disturbed the church members, Preston’s wife still looks for redemption in the situation. She believes the vandal is “crying out for help.”
“We really hope that they will walk through our doors and accept Christ,” she said. “We pray for them.”
Design Credit: Kayla Koslosky
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.