Vandals damage church building in Berclair

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Leaders at New Hope Church of the Nazarene in the Berclair area are left picking up the pieces after their building was severely damaged and vandalized Thursday night.

“It was really sad to me because we’ve been working really, really hard,” associate pastor of the church, Kathryn Miller, said.

Shattered glass, spray paint, and a smashed security system. That’s is what Miller found after noticing a light was left on at the church just after 11 p.m. Thursday.

“They spray-painted all on the walls, poured paint all on the walls. They tore up all of our youth and young children ministries, and they just tore everything up,” she said.

The vandals even dismantled a coke machine and went through a communion set in the pastor’s office.

Miller said the good news is it doesn’t appear much was stolen. That’s why she believes the vandals are kids.

“To see all the materials we planned to use for different activities for the kids in the neighborhood tore up, and to know that it was likely kids from the neighborhood is sad,” she said.

The senior pastor of the church, Troy Neff, said they’re looking at at least $10,000 worth of damage.

“We just want to work with the parents and with the kids and try to help them learn and do better,” he said.

Both Neff and Miller said they forgive whoever is responsible. They’re hoping whoever it is, does the right thing by coming forward.

“We just want to find out who it was, want them not be afraid to come forward,” she said. “We want them to help us so we can get things back on track the way they should be.”

Police are looking into the incident and going through evidence.

In the meantime, Neff and Miller said they are looking for volunteers to help them clean up.