Reported crimes against the church in North America this week 1/8/2022

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY JAN 3, 2022

A church in Sherburne, New York celebrated a grand re-opening this weekend after an arsonist destroyed the congregation’s sanctuary in 2020.  WKTV reports The Lighthouse Community Church has since changed its name to Epicenter Ministries.

Police in Vandalina, Ohio are investigating a threatening message and nearly $10,000 in damage done to property owned by Hopeland Church.  WDNT reports it was the second incident of vandalism at the church

TUESDAY, JAN 4, 2022

A Smithville, Tennessee man is set to make a court appearance on Jan 13 after police say he spray painted the side a church and left a note on the door saying, “Be a real shame to lose your church because of terrorists.” WJLE radio reported the graffiti included a message ordering the church to stop loaning its building out. 

WEDNESDAY, JAN 5, 2022

Bond for an Ohio man was set Wednesday at $50,000 after police say he set fire to a nativity scene and a van at the Hopeland Church in Vandaila, Ohio.  The Journal-News of Butler County, Ohio reports Garrett Scott Cook, 20, is charged with vandalism and desecration of a place of worship.

THURSDAY, JAN 5, 2022

Police in Summerville, South Carolina are looking for the person or persons who smashed windows and set fires inside the Flowertown Baptist Church building.  Live5News reports some items were also stolen from the church.

FRIDAY, JAN 6, 2022

Arson investigators have not yet determined the cause of a fire at the River of Life Church in Munford, Tennessee. The AtokA Fire Department posted photos of the blaze on social media.

A Texas man is sentenced to 20 years in prison for burning down a church building.  CBS 19 reports Paul Wayne Kennedy pleaded guilty to arson with intent to damage a habitat or place of worship in connection with a fire at the Shell’s Temple Church of God in Christ.

Reported crimes against the church in North America this week 1/1/2022

STAFF

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY, DEC. 27, 2021

Police in St. Albans, West Virginia have arrested two men for felony destruction of property and grand larceny after

TUESDAY, DEC 28, 2021

Police in Fort Smith, Ark. have arrested a man accused of causing between $20,000 and $50,000 in damage to the Evangel Temple in Forts Smith. KNWA/KFTA reports surveillance video led to the arrest of James Leon Garner, 39. A motive for the vandalism has not been announced.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29, 2021

Officers arrested a Henderson, North Carolina man, 40, this week for vandalism at a church. Police say Kane Kelley. The motive behind the vandalism at the Ebenezer Church is not clear as the graffiti is Illegible. Fox Carolina posted photos of some of the graffiti. ABC13 reports the act was caught on surveillance video.

Police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are looking for the person or persons who caused an estimated $11,000 in damage as they ransacked a church. 6 Action News reports the damage was discovered at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church. Burglary is believed to be the motive

THURSDAY, DEC 30, 2021

Police In the state of New Jersey have responded three times in the past month to vandalism at the Mary, Mother of God Church in the city of Hillsborough.  Patch.com reports the vandal or vandals have defaced Christmas decorations, knocked over statues and stole a few items.

FRIDAY, Dec 31, 2021 (New Year’s Eve)

No Report – Holiday schedule

Reported crimes against the church in North America this week 12/24/2021

TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA STAFF

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list.  These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2021

Vandals in Land Park, California have destroyed what has been a long-time annual Christmas display.  KRCA Television reports the Nativity set up by a family for the past 25 years was demolished by criminals over the weekend.

The sheriff’s office in York County, South Carolina is investigating racist and obscene graffiti at the NewSpring Church, according to a report from The Herald.

TUESDAY, DEC. 21, 2021

Provincial police are investigating after someone used an ATV to smash through doors of a church in Caledonia. CBC news reports it appears they drove the ATV inside the building causing further damage.

WEDNESDAY, DEC 22, 2021

Police in Oldsmar, Florida have not announced a motive for a man arrested after they say he broke into a church and caused more than $50,000 in damage.  Fox13 reports the unnamed suspect broke into the Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church and began marring the walls and furniture with graffiti, burning items and ransacking the building.

THURSDAY, DEC 23, 2021

Calgary police are looking for a person of interest in a summer church arson. CTV News has published photos of a man that may have information about an intentionally-set fire at the Calgary House of Prayer Church on July 4.

A creche depicting Jesus’ birth has been vandalized for the second time in Hillsborough, New Jersey.  Tapinto.net reports the vandalized figures at The Catholic Church of Hillsborough were a gift to the church and had been cast by an Italian sculptor. Police have not made any arrests in the criminal act.

FRIDAY, DEC 24, 2021

A Charleston, S.C. congregation is looking past the vandalism of the person or persons who targeted their sanctuary earlier this month, as they focus on serving God while they serve the community.  ABC4 reports Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church is continuing its work distributing clothing and food as they discourage drug use in the neighborhood.

Sheriff’s deputies in Shasta County, California arrested a woman for vandalism at the Community Baptist Church. The Riverside County News reports that deputies found the woman broke into the church, sprayed the fire extinguisher around the sanctuary but got no further in damaging the house of worship because law officers caught her in the act.

Police in Austin, Texas are investigating after someone smashed stained glass windows on all sides of Our Savior Lutheran Church. KXAN television reports the church boarded up the windows and proceeded with worship as scheduled.

Reported crimes against the church this week 12/18/2021

Janet Johnson-Tremblay

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list.  These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2021

A church in Fargo, ND has restored a statue of St. Anthony of Paduca after vandals cut the head off and caused other damage. WZFG reports the damage happened in October . No motive for the criminal act is known.

A man charged with stalking and killing a pastor in an East Texas church has been found incompetent to stand trial. Police say Mytrez Woolen hid inside the Starrville Methodist Church last year and shot the pastor when he was found. KTEK.com reports his case is on hold while he receives “restorative” care. 

TUESDAY, DEC. 14, 2021

Police in Charleston, South Carolina say a vandal or vandals smashed out stained glass windows of the Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church.  News 2 reports large bricks and rocks were used to carry out the criminal act. The church posted a video on Facebook showing some of the damage.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 15, 2021

A Pensacola, Florida man investigators believe is responsible for a string of church vandalism was involved in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies on Dec. 7. The Pensacola News Journal reports Sean Thomas Michaels was confronted by deputies after a tip came in that he had caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to a total of six churches when he raised a rifle and pointed it at the deputies. He was shot in the leg and deputies took him into custody.

THURSDAY, DEC 15, 2021

Police in Charleston, West Virginia are working to identify the person who threw bricks through two stained-glass windows at Mount Carmel United Methodist Church.  The Post and Courier reports the vandal was caught on video and the crime is being investigated as a hate crime.

FRIDAY, DEC 16, 2021

On Dec 15 a man and woman broke into St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beaumont, Texas.  Police say burglary appears to be the motive for the crime.  Cash and credit cards were taken and used at local stores.

Police in Seattle are investigating arson and vandalism at the St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church.  West Seattle News reports the fire did not have time to spread before it spread.  No arrests have been made.

Reported acts of aggression against Christian congregations this week

STAFF

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list.  These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2021

Red Deer, Alberta RCMP are asking for help identifying two people who vandalized a Church of the Nazarene building. Canada Police Report published photos of the suspects. The men are accused of writing offensive graffiti on church property.

Police in Portland, Oregon are looking for a woman they believe vandalized the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Colorado.  An Associated Press article published in the New Canaan Advertiser says swastikas and other hateful messages were painted on the church building. A photos of the damage were published by the Denver Post and The Post Millennial.

Police in Pennsylvania are investigating vandalism that included Satanic imagery left at Lititz Church or the Brethren. Lancaster Online reports the graffiti was discovered on Saturday.

TUESDAY, DEC 7, 2021

Police in Florida have arrested a man accused of vandalizing the building of Olive Baptist Church.  WEAR TV reports tips to police lead officers to Sean Michaels, 31. He’s charged with felony criminal mischief and two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. 

A statue at Our Lady of Fatima church in Washington, D.C. was vandalized last weekend. ABC 7 reports a cross was cut loose, and the nose of the statue was broken off.  Police have not determined a motive for the crime. The News Observer posted a surveillance photo of the vandal.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 2021

Thieves have stolen part of a fence installed around a church to protect from those who made arson threats.  Two Row Times reports someone cut off part of the expensive barrier around the Mohawk Chapel in Ontario.

Vandals in the State of New York used large rocks to smash glass doors at Grace Lutheran Church in Forest Hills. The Forest Hills Post reports police are investigating the crime as simple vandalism and not a hate crime.

THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2021

New Brunswick investigators have not determined the cause of a fire that destroyed a more than 100-year-old church.  A photo of the destroyed Saint Timothée Catholic church was published by CBC.

FRIDAY, DEC 10, 2021

A Cap-Pelé man, 26, if facing an arson charge following a NB church fire.  According to a RCMP news release, the suspect was arrested following a fire at the Saint-Timothée church. A motive is not yet known. The arrested individual is set to appear in court on Jan. 10, 2021.

A woman wanted in connection with vandalism at a Colorado church was arrested in Portland.  Fox 12 in Oregon reports Portland police arrested Madeline Cramer Thursday for vandalism at the Cathedral Basilica in Denver.