Vandals leave mark on Columbia Co. churches, park - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Vandals leave mark on Columbia Co. churches, park

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Courtesy: Bible Fellowship Church Courtesy: Bible Fellowship Church

It was a disappointing discovery for Augusta Old Line Primitive Baptist Church Pastor Dwayne Hooven.

His church, like several others on Columbia County's Old Petersburg Rd., was vandalized over night.

"Obviously, it's a sad day when people are targeting churches," Hooven says.

Fox 54 notified Hooven of the vandalism while working the story. He met us at the church to see for himself.

"It obviously could've been a lot worse," he says. "I'm thankful for that, that it's not worse."

At Hooven's church, "Are you safe?!" is spray painted in blue on the front door.

Just a few yards up the road at the Church of Christ, "Serve the servants" is left on the roadside sign.

At Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, the words "Abort Christ" were spray painted on one of the church's signs. It was easily washed off the metal sign this morning.

Next door to Prince of Peace, two symbols were painted on Bible Fellowship Church's roadside sign. They too have been removed.

But Bible Fellowship's pastor Randy Byrd doesn't believe this was the work of simply a prankster with a paint can.

He thinks the vandals were on a mission.

"The prankster kept putting relative things. 'Abort Christ,' the symbols, they have an agenda," he says. "They're saying, 'Hey, I'm not in favor of that.'"

The vandals also left graffiti on the Kelley Park sign.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism and completing reports. They say they have no suspects.

For now, the churches have already begun to wash away the messages.

"First thing, we're going to have to paint our doors," laughs Hooven. "We'll continue to meet and trust in the Lord to watch over us."

But Byrd and Hooven say they hope the vandals come back- not to deface the church, but to hear the messages they preach.

"I would like to invite them to come visit us," Hooven says.

"The very person who did this, they're hurting. They're going through something," says Byrd. "If we can help them, good Lord, that's what we want to do- make a difference."

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