Worship continues in wake of vandal’s mess

A New Jersey congregation says worship services will go on as planned in spite of damage vandals caused to the church sanctuary this week.

Pipes were ripped out of the church organ and debris scattered around the pulpit of the First United Methodist Church of Freehold.

“We will not let this crush our spirits! Please join me in praying for our Trustees as they work to fix this issue. May we also pray for the person(s) desperate enough to commit this crime,” says a message on the church’s Facebook page.

A church spokesperson said it appears someone was trying to steal pipes from the organ, but only damaged the instrument.  They were unsuccessful in stealing anything.

Massachusetts man awaits trial for setting two fires inside church building

Prosecutors in Greenfield, Massachusetts are preparing their case for the trial of a man accused of setting two fires inside a Catholic Church building last year.

Trevor J. Defrancesco, 21, was arraigned in Franklin County Superior Court Thursday for an Oct. 19, 2019 fire at Our Lady Immaculate Church in Athol, Mass., according to a report in the Greenfield Recorder. Prosecutors have not said what they believe to be his motive.

A report filed by WHDH television shortly after the fire says the building sustained only moderate damage.

Texas man replaces tools and supplies stolen from missionaries

Missionaries restoring a Texas church building are back at work making repairs to a sanctuary destroyed by Tropical Storm Imelda.  Repair work stopped last week after a thief stole thousands of dollars’ worth of tools and supplies.

An Orange County, Texas Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told Texas Gospel Canada that volunteers with Mission America Placement Service were restoring the building of the Mauriceville Assembly of God Church.  Someone climbed a wall to get inside the damaged structure and left with the volunteer’s property. 12News reports at least $8,000 worth of equipment was taken in the theft.

The criminal act stopped the volunteer’s work for a short while.  Reconstruction was able to continue thanks to a Business man in the community. KOGT Radio in Orange, Texas reports Chad Havens, who owns Bridgefield Electric, saw a news report about the theft.  He contacted the group and bought new tools and supplies to replace what was taken.

Deputies have not yet identified a suspect.

Hate crime charges pending against man who smeared feces on California church building

A California man police say has a history of yelling obscenities at church members has been arrested after U.S. police say he smeared feces and threw eggs at a church building.

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Danny Lee Terpin (Tulare County Sheriff’s Office , U.S.)

Tulare County sheriff’s deputies arrested Danny Lee Terpin, 48, after they say his actions were caught on video at the Iglesia Christiana Fuente de Vida on Friday. The Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page that the video surveillance and a history of incidents led deputies to a nearby home where they made the arrest.

A sheriff’s office spokesperson on Sunday said Terpin faces felony hate crime vandalism charges.

Stolen cross returned to Digby church

A 100-year-old cross that was stolen has been returned according to a report published by StAlbertaToda.ca.

The Yarmouth Conty Vanguard reports the brass cross had been taken in a burglary around 10 a.m. Christmas Eve at the Trinity Anglican Church in Digby, N.S.  A press release issued by the RCMP says a woman brought the undamaged cross to the church and gave it to an employee.

PHOTO: Trinity Anglican Church, Digby, N.S.

Officials say nothing else was taken in the burglary.

No arrests have been announced.

The Digby RCMP is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact them at 902-245-2579. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), submit a secure web tip at http://www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

US agents investigating attacks against church buildings in Texas, reward offered

The FBI is trying to find out if four cases of church vandalism in El Paso, Texas are related. The latest incident happened Dec. 5. A criminal smashed windows at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.  Fire officials told the El Paso Times a small fire at the church that night appears to be intentionally set.

The church pastor posted on social media that no one was hurt.  He said federal agents are investigating the attack against the church as a hate crime.

Fernando Ceniseros, a spokesman for the Diocese of El Paso, encouraged anyone with information on the crime to reach out to the police, FBI, or Crime Stoppers.

“If you see something, if you know something or if you hear something we are asking our people to say something,” he said, according to the KVIA television.

The vandalism at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church includes the burning of a Bible, Satanic symbols left on church property and around $75,000 of non-specified destruction, according to a followup story from KVIA.

The FBI in September announced a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in previous attacks against church buildings in El Paso. Other rewards offered to help find the person or persons responsible bring the reward total to $15,000 for the arrest of those who are responsible.

Vandals paint messages of hate on Ohio church building

A congregation in Deerfield, Ohio was targed this week by vandals who painted swastikas, racial slurs, and Satanic symbols on the church building.

Pastor Rodney Hedge of Kings Mills Baptist Church told Fox 19 in Ohio he got an early morning phone call about what was called an “all hands on deck” situation. He told the TV station it was the first time his congregation had to deal with this type of vandalism.

A church representative made a Facebook post showing damage left by the criminals.

The motive of the vandals has not yet been determined.