CRIME

East Washington Heights Baptist church vandalized

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At East Washington Heights Baptist church Monday, members were busy washing, scrubbing and mopping after vandals struck overnight and trashed the church.

The vandals lit the stove in the kitchen and started a small fire that brought fire and police to the church in the 2100 block of Branch Avenue at about 12:30 a.m. Authorities found a door opened where the vandals had fled.

"There is not the respect for a church that there used to be and should be," said church member Shirley Hayes.

On Monday morning, church members found the remnants of a fire on the stove. The vandals had thrown ice cream on a piano. The fellowship call was thrashed and the communion cup was thrown on the floor and stomped.

Police haven’t made any arrests in the case.

The pastor said the vandalism incident calls for more outreach and to spread “a gospel of love especially during holy week."

The Rev. Kip Banks was impressed that once members heard about the destruction, they showed up and went to work cleaning up the church.

"It was so senseless,” said church member Paul Savage. “There was nothing stolen that we can see - it was just vandalism "

Yet some were thankful that the damage wasn’t worse.

"And we are blessed that they not tear up anything in the sanctuary and there's not graffiti and we're gonna pray for ‘em,” said David Kirkpatrick, a church member.

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