Dallas church cleaning up after hate crime by vandals

| March 9, 2010

Volunteers today began removing the satanic symbols and hateful words that vandals spray-painted on Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lake Highlands.

Pastor David Wilson said he originally planned to wait for officials to assess the damage, which he discovered Monday. But today he decided the sight of the crime was too much.

So rather than go through its insurance company, the church will be scrubbed clean by volunteers, Wilson said.

The vandals marred the building's windows and brick facade, scrawling "God hates" and "Burn in hell," as well as a bus parked outside of the church in the 8300 block of Forest Lane, just east of Central Expressway.

Wilson said he wouldn’t be surprised if the criminals strike again once the graffiti has been removed.

"We are going to continue to do what we do," he said. "We have confidence in God."

Wilson gave a sermon last night and said that his congregation was upset by the crime.

Dallas police are taking the crime very seriously, Dallas police spokeswoman Janice Crowther said, especially in light of the recent series of church fires in East Texas. Two arson suspects have been arrested in those crimes.

The vandalism at Greater Cornerstone has been ruled a hate crime by investigators, Crowther said.

"If they spray-paint gang signs, then it wouldn’t be," she said. "But they drew pentagrams and suggested that the church is going to hell."

Because of the hate crime designation, the vandals could face stiffer penalties.



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Category: Church Security

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