A church in Maryland recently fell victim to a vandalism attack that left roughly $100,000 in damages.
The attack occurred on June 8 at Fowler United Methodist Church, a predominantly African American congregation in Annapolis. Anne Arundel County Police are investigating the act as a possible hate crime.
In an interview with the Annapolis-based Capital Gazette, Fowler UMC Senior Pastor Jerome Jones said he has “never seen a church desecrated to where you just feel the hate.
“And it was so disturbing to my soul. And it was a weight, I would say, that I have never anticipated I would have to carry,” he told the outlet. “The pain of what the cross stands for, and to see someone desecrate it to that capacity.”
The vandal(s) tore down a large cross, tore apart Bibles and hymnals, threw the contents of the books onto the sanctuary floor, cut the church’s sound equipment cords and destroyed five televisions, The Christian Post reports.
Eastport United Methodist Church, also located in Annapolis, has assisted in Fowler UMC’s recovery efforts.
“Over the past week, their pastor and I have been in touch, discussing ways their congregation can be supported. So far, we have been able to support them with some sound equipment while other churches have supported them with hymnals and bibles,” Eastport UMC on Facebook on June 16.
“They still require additional financial support to cover remaining audio/visual needs, so on Sunday, we will collect a love offering to support them during this time. You can give ahead of time online at eastportumc.org/give and select ‘Mission Offering.’”
On Sunday, Fowler UMC posted information outlining ways to give to the church and thanked people in advance for their generosity.
In April, Arielle Del Turco of the Family Research Council reported that acts of vandalism on churches in the U.S. “have been steadily on the rise for the past several years, and the first quarter of 2023 has continued the upward trend.”
“The first three months of 2023 saw approximately three times the number of acts of hostility perpetrated against churches in the same timeframe last year,” Del Turco noted.
Photo courtesy: ©Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.