Crime Watch 8

Leaders undeterred after church vandalized with racist, anti-Semitic markings

BEAN BLOSSOM, Ind. (WISH) – The faith community in Brown County came together Monday morning after someone vandalized a church over the weekend.

And the election may have something to do with it.

“I believe we are targeted because we are inclusive,” said Rev. Kelsey Hutto, the Priest-In-Charge of St. David’s Episcopal Church.

Sunday morning church-goers showed up to spray painted messages that read: “Heil Trump,” “Fag Church,” and a swastika.

“There’s a phenomenon of divisiveness going around our country right now and if we continue to focus on the hate, if we continue to allow that to be our focus rather than love we’re letting it win,” said Rev. Hutto.

Rev. Hutto said they will not be deterred.

“Our call as Christians has not changed because someone was elected or somebody wasn’t. Our call is to love all people and we will continue to stand in that,” she said.

She said the entire congregation was shook over these messages.

On Monday, representatives from several area churches joined for prayer at St. David’s.

“There’s no room for that, there’s no need for that. It’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable. We’re not that kind of community and we’re just not that kind of people,” said Cory Joy of New Life Community Church.

“My fear would be that people would feel that it’s OK now to attack one another,” said Michael Cartwright, of Nashville United Methodist Church.

“Whether it’s a child being mischievous or an older person not realizing what we are in the community, no matter what, it ends up being a hate crime,” said Rev. Hutto.

The messages haven’t been removed, Hutto said they’re going to remain there. They said they’re using this as a teachable moment.

“Symbols are what you make them, we can make them about hate, we can be angry, we can be embarrassed, but we’re not. These symbols to us are a symbol of hope because if there’s anybody in the surrounding area that sees these, they know that we are an inclusive church and that they’re welcome here. So if we can help even one person by leaving them up a couple more days we’re OK with that and we’re proud of that,” said Rev. Hutto.

On Wednesday, November 16 the church is holding a worship service at 6 p.m. They said they will talk about the vandalism and discuss how the country as a whole can move forward.

The church is located at 11 West State Road 45 Beanblossom, IN 46160.