Ogden Baptist Church forgives man charged with vandalizing it

| June 9, 2010

Ogden Baptist Church wants Christopher Ryan Brown and his family to know they're welcome anytime.

Brown, an ex-con with a criminal record dating back to 1993, faces multiple charges in the May 28 break-in and vandalism at the church, which caused more than $250,000 in damage.

A vandal ripped the keys off a recently dedicated church organ, which had the most damage.

The sanctuary, doors, glass, walls and sound system also were damaged.

But all that is forgiven, a church official said Tuesday.

"We want to reassure (them) that we don't hold any grudge or animosity toward the family or toward that person," said Jim Arlart, the chairman of the church's deacons. "The door's always open."

The church recently bought the organ, Arlart said.

Members dedicated the organ late last year, when Carlo Curley, an international concert organist, played at the church. Curley was the first classical organist to play a solo organ recital at the White House.

Arlart said they hope to fix the organ by late July.

The church hired a cleaning company, which finished its work Friday, allowing the church to have services in the sanctuary Sunday, Arlart said.

Interim Pastor Duncan Futrelle said the church didn't cancel any Sunday services, but members met May 30 in the fellowship building.

Brown also stole $20 worth of permanent and dry erase markers during the break-in, according to an arrest warrant.

The church vandalism is Brown's most recent run-in with law enforcement.

He finished a two-year prison sentence for driving while impaired in 2006, according to the N.C. Department of Correction website.

Other prior convictions include two DWIs less than a month apart, resisting an officer, drug possession, multiple break-ins and multiple larcenies.

Brown also had an "unauthorized leave" infraction during his two-year prison term for the DWI.



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Category: Church Security

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