Vandals prey on Elmore County church - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Vandals prey on Elmore County church

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Shattered glass covers the floor of the church. Shattered glass covers the floor of the church.
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ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) -

What is typically a place of refuge is now a crime scene.  Some church members in Elmore County have had enough with vandalism and un-welcomed guests.

Members went to the church to clean-up and get ready for Sunday services only to find others had already been there and left a big mess.

It happened at First Baptist Church Elmore on Weaver Cut, a street off Fitzpatrick Road. 

"I mean, it was glass all over the place, rocks all in the church," says Deacon Henry Gill.

Gill was the first person to find the destruction.

Rocks were thrown through windows, the back door was wide open and shattered glass covered the floor and pews.

"It was awful."

Unfortunately, though, scenarios like this aren't unusual there.

"We're not gonna stand for it," says Pastor Willie James Morgan, Jr.

Morgan says trespassers have destroyed the church cemetery before and broken into the building to steal sound equipment.

"It is very disturbing to know we have people targeting a house of God," says Morgan. 

He believes the church is in a vulnerable spot at the end of a rural road, next to a farm and hidden from main thoroughfares.

In addition to the occasional piles of garbage in the parking lot, he has found evidence of drug use and sexual activity there.

"I think individuals think they can get away with a lot of these things because there's not a lot of light out here at night."

"We had service. We didn't let that discourage us," adds Gill.

Gill says despite the damage, church members still gathered.

They haven't even cleaned up yet.  They're waiting for insurance adjusters to survey the site.

But one thing is certain, "the enemy will not win, whatever he does to try to destroy or deter us from God's word.  We're going to keep that message of Jesus Christ alive," says Morgan.

Church members say they're ready to take action to keep this from happening again--whether that means putting up a gate at the road or mounting security cameras.

No word yet on if authorities have found the people responsible for damaging the church.

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