Five Columbus churches hit by vandalism

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comApril 9, 2014 

Five south Columbus church leaders found shattered glass and cement blocks Sunday after a weekend vandalism spree, according to Columbus Police reports.

An unknown number of suspects lobbed rocks and cement blocks through windows at the churches between 5 p.m., Saturday and 8 a.m., Sunday. One large rock was so forcefully thrown through Twelve Disciples Baptist Church's bathroom window that it damaged the opposite wall.

The vandalism came as a shock to Pastor Darrion McCoy, who found the rock near his study when he entered Twelve Disciples. Since then, his church has banded with others affected to repair damages and promote unity.

"We conducted service (at Twelve Disciples) as normal," McCoy said. "We prayed for the individual or individuals who committed the acts. Now we've put that behind us."

Another rock crashed through a high window on Crown of Glory Outreach Ministries' east side, causing $1,500 in damage.

Other targeted churches include Youmans Street's Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Fort Benning Road's New Life House of Prayer Ministries and Eighth Street's Carver Heights Presbyterian Church.

Vandalism is not uncommon to the area, McCoy said. In the past few years, his home's doors have been kicked open and his wife's car window has been smashed.

Patrol Sgt. Art Sheldon said he is uncertain whether the vandalism string is being investigated by a specific department.

"A lot of times, vandalism is done by juveniles," Sheldon said. "It's kids just riding around throwing rocks at places. Officers by and large handle that, and we always hope we find the person responsible. But we've got so many things going on, burglaries and robberies, there's not a specific person assigned to that."

Tuesday, Francis Street's Muhammad Mosque #96 reported a break-in, Sheldon said. It is unclear whether that crime is connected to the vandalism streak.

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