FBI offers $10,000 reward after vandalism at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta
(CNN) — The FBI Atlanta field office is offering a $10,000 reward for information regarding a vandalism incident that took place at Georgia’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary this summer, the agency said in a news release Thursday.
The church’s sanctuary was vandalized in the late hours of July 3, when a group spray painted the following message on the side of the church: “if abortions arent safe neither are you.”
The vandalism came just days after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed the federal, constitutional right to an abortion.
Surveillance video appears to show a group of 10 individuals dressed in all black walking away from the church. The group walked to a concealed area, then re-emerged in surveillance footage without the black clothing, the FBI said.
“The group then split up, and four of the individuals went in one direction and six of the individuals went in another direction,” the FBI said on a reward poster for the incident. “FBI Atlanta and the Atlanta Police Department ask anyone who recognizes any of these 10 individuals to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or send tips to Tips.FBI.gov.”
Ebenezer Baptist Church, its sanctuary and the home of Martin Luther King Jr. are all part of the national historic park located in Atlanta.
The church — separate from the sanctuary — was founded in 1886 and is a “spiritual home” to the state of Georgia, according to the National Park Service. It served as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home church from 1960 until his death in 1968. Today, Democratic US Sen. Raphael Warnock serves as its senior pastor, according to the church’s website.
CNN has reached out to a spokesperson for Warnock.