RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. - Two churches were vandalized in Randolph County near Level Cross during the past couple weeks. The Friendship Baptist Church of Level Cross found inappropriate images and words spray painted on its fellowship hall.
Pastor Rex Pollard said tomatoes were also thrown at the church's doors. He said a good friend helped out the church and painted over the spray painted images on Thursday. He said he's been the pastor of the church for 30 years and has never dealt with anything like this before.
Just down the road, another church was vandalized. New Salem Baptist Church off of Old Greensboro Road found spray painted words and pictures on its parking lot, sidewalk and wooden benched. Pastor Phillip Talton said someone also broke a window to get inside the church's fellowship hall, carved into picnic tables and stole plants.
"You know, we just want to live in peace in the neighborhood you know, and be a witness to the neighborhood. Not be a target," Talton said.
He said the church has since replaced the window and tried to power wash the pavement to remove the spray paint. Talton said the church's next step is to install security cameras.
"It's an unfortunate thing that a worship place has to do that, but we're going to do that and we have the neighbors behind the place that are watching out for us and the sheriff's department," he said.
Church member Marie White said she was surprised that someone would do this to a church.
"I mean this is God's house that's sacred ground you know, if they have no respect for themselves or anybody else, especially God's house. We're supposed to take care of God's house," White said.
White said if she could say anything to those responsible she would say, "Stop and maybe come get active in our church. If they want to be a part of something come be something that's positive instead of something that's so negative."
Talton added, ""You know, we forgive you, you know. I mean, we hope that you come to a knowledge of the Lord and come over here to worship."
Both churches have filed reports with the Randolph County Sheriff's Department. The department is not sure whether the two cases are related.