Hopewell churches broken into and vandalized - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hopewell churches broken into and vandalized

It has been more than fourteen years since Dr. David Hayes was the pastor of a church that was the victim of a break-in.

But as soon as he walked the doors of his old church in Hopewell, he knew exactly what he was dealing with.

He described for NBC12 what he saw when first walked in.

"I came in through the front door and the first table through this door was turned on its side. I thought well that's kind of strange."

Pastor Hayes was the pastor of a church in Tallahassee florida that had been robbed. up until this week, his family worship and praise center church in Hopewell, had never been a target.

"This building hadn't been broke into, in the fourteen years I've been here."

And the criminals did quite a job, after breaking in through a side window they proceeded to trash the pastor's quaint office, stealing his computer and punching a hole in the wall. they also destroyed a microwave in the kitchen and plastered the walls of their food pantry with items bought for the poor.

"They left our freezer door open and shoved all of this out and took cans of food and opened up and through them against the wall."

But the praise and worship center was not the only victim. Police report 10 separate incidents at these different churches across the city. They believe one group is to blame and they are working to educate churches to prevent it from happening again.

Meanwhile Pastor Hayes already has a message for the responsible parties.

"Folks put on our church sign, you know who you are and we forgive you."

The Church sign already has a new message and Pastor Hayes said his congregation is ready to move on. They have yet to calculate the damage from the attacks, but are confident that it will only bring their community closer together.

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