Reward offered for information in Spotsylvania church vandalism

Nothing was stolen at Craigs Baptist Church but everything in sight was ruined.
A small town church community was shaken after their community center was vandalized.
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (WWBT) - A reward is being offered for information in connection to a church that was vandalized in Spotsylvania County.

The sheriff’s office is searching for the suspects behind vandalism at Craigs Baptist Church and said a $1,000 reward is being offered for information in the case.

Members of Craigs Baptist Church in Spotsylvania were devastated by the sight of the damage, but now they’re picking up the pieces.

“Was this a hate crime? Was it just a crime of opportunity, somebody that didn’t have anything else to do and was mad or upset? I don’t have any idea,” Pastor John Swain said.

Every single room was splattered with paint. Many walls were smashed in, tables were thrown and decorations were destroyed.

“It was appalling,” Pastor Swain said.

Pastor Swain has been with Craigs Baptist Church for 30 years, but nothing could prepare him for what he would witness early Sunday morning.

“When I saw that building, I knew someone was there to destroy,” he said.

The photos speak for themselves.

Nothing was stolen, but everything in sight was ruined.

The investigation is now in the hands of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office. The insurance company is still determining how much it will cost.

“I think someone intended for evil, whatever their reason was, whether it was personal, whether it’s just random, but we do believe a lot of good will come out of it,” Pastor Swain said.

While Pastor Swain is confident the detectives will find the person or persons at fault, he says the church does not despise this person or their actions. It’s quite the opposite.

“We’re not here to judge or punish, but we’re just looking to see what good can come out of a bad situation like this,” he said.

While talking about the outpouring of love and support from community members and even strangers, Pastor Swain was nearly brought to tears, especially when the firefighters returned to lend a hand.

“They came back early that morning with mops and buckets and wanted to help us clean if we were going to try and do service in the building,” he said. “That was awesome.”

Swain says he believes this horrible situation was designed to unite the church and the Spotsylvania community together even closer and create something positive.

“It’s not about buildings. It’s about people. That’s what we care about,” Pastor Swain said. “We’ve been really pleasantly surprised already, and who knows the magnitude of that over the next few weeks or months.”

Anyone with information can call the sheriff’s office at 1-800-928-5822 or 540-582-5822.

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